Braised Heritage Chicken With Lemons and Capers

Recipe Courtesy of JIFA

Serves: 1 person per ¾ lb of bone-in chicken

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 30+ minutes per lb of bone-in chicken


  • 1 kosher heritage chicken, cut into 4-8 pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons schmaltz, beef tallow, or vegetable oil
  • 4 large peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable  stock
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh Thyme thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 3 bay leaves



Preheat the oven to 275°. If your bird is whole, quarter chicken. Season with pepper and dredge in flour. Heat the schmaltz in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, 5-6 minutes per side. ​

Turn off heat and let pan cool slightly. If pan is dry add extra oil before putting the garlic in the pan. Cook garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, lemon juice & zest, thyme, capers, bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot skin side up and cover pan tightly. Chickens should be 50-80% submerged with liquid at this point in the process and never be less than 25% submerged in liquid during cooking. More liquid = more tender meat, less liquid = crispier meat. (Don’t let your bird dry out! Cover pan tightly and add liquid if too much has dissolved.)

Transfer to the oven and braise. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and age of bird. Allow at least 30 minutes per lb and cook until chicken is tender enough that it gives way when prodded with a fork.

Once done cooking, if sauce is not thick enough, return the skillet to the stove and boil until the sauce is sufficiently reduced. Discard the thyme, bay leaf, and lemon zest. Serve with a side of couscous or wild rice pilaf, and pair with white wine or a light refreshing beer.

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