Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo

Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo
Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo

This dish is something we have been trying different versions of for many years. We finally landed on this one and paired it with the barley shaped pasta, orzo, for a very satisfying meal. We absolutely love it and the flavor is amazing! Obviously, vinegar plays a huge role in this recipe for Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce, but the finished sauce is silky smooth and not nearly as assertive as you might expect. Using good quality white wine vinegar that you like is of the utmost importance in this dish.

Cooking the Chicken

The chicken is browned and three-quarter cooked first then simmered in the sauce to finish and removed to a warm oven until the sauce is done. There is a good reason for this. The sauce just takes longer than the chicken and if you don’t remove it, you’ll end up with a beautiful sauce and not-so-tender chicken breasts. Trust us, it’s a bummer! So, this method works best to ensure that the chicken and the sauce are cooked to perfection.

Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo
The flavors come together in the sauce for a truly irresistible dish!

Flavors in the Sauce

The tarragon and garlic really add some substantial flavor to the White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce without being too assertive. When you are about to blend the sauce, the garlic should be tender (which is why you don’t want to use giant cloves of garlic).

The vinegar is the true star here. By the end, you will have a beautifully balanced sauce!

Spinach Orzo

Orzo really pairs well with this dish and is a perfect place for the extra sauce to land! The spinach in the orzo just adds a nice pop of color and flavor, since it doesn’t cook for long.

Finishing Touches

Chopped parsley and tarragon are added at the very end for serving, but do not overlook these as they are not merely garnishes. The parsley brightens up the entire flavor profile of the dish and the tarragon adds a subtle sweetness that can’t be matched.


We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce. If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo
Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Tomato Sauce and Spinach Orzo

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Chicken with White Wine Vinegar Sauce and Spinach Orzo

5 from 4 votes
Course: Main CoursesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



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  • For the Chicken
  • 4 small 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise (8 pcs total)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 kosher salt

  • 2 tsp 2 black pepper

  • 10 Tbsp 10 unsalted butter – divided

  • 1 Tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 cup 1 white wine (or champagne) vinegar

  • 8 medium 8 to small cloves of garlic – peeled and whole

  • 6 6 Roma tomatoes – seeded and chopped

  • 2 cups 2 chicken stock

  • 2 2 stalks of tarragon

  • ¼ cup crème fraîche or mascarpone

  • chopped tarragon and parsley for serving

  • For the Orzo
  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 1 cup 1 chicken stock

  • 1 Tbsp 1 salt

  • 1 cup 1 orzo pasta

  • 2 cups 2 (60g) packed spinach, then roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp 2 extra virgin olive oil


  • Prepare the Chicken
  • Preheat your oven to 170°F.
  • Dry the chicken and season with the salt and pepper. Put the chicken on a rack over a sheet pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour then remove from the refrigerator and prepare your pan for cooking.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. Add the chicken and brown well on both sides – about 6 minutes in total since these are fairly thin. The chicken should be about ¾ cooked. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil and set aside.
  • To the same pan, add the vinegar and garlic and deglaze the pan. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the chicken stock and tarragon stalks, and reduce the sauce by half over medium heat. This will take about 10 minutes.
  • Once reduced, remove the tarragon stalk and blend the sauce with an immersion blender or carefully pour into a regular blender and blend until very smooth. Return to the pan and continue reducing for another 3-5 minutes, until total volume has been reduced by 2/3.
  • Turn the heat to low and return the chicken and any juices on the plate to the pan, cover and simmer for 5 minutes to warm up and continue cooking the chicken. Remove the chicken again to a heat-proof dish, cover and keep warm in the oven.
  • Turn the heat off the sauce – making sure it is not boiling. Remove the lid from the sauce and whisk in the remaining 8 Tbsp of butter, 1 Tbsp at a time. Once incorporated, whisk in the crème fraîche or mascarpone.
  • Make the Orzo
  • The orzo can be made simultaneously. Bring the water and stock to a boil, add the salt, and stir. Add the orzo, stir, and cook until al dente – follow the package instructions, about 12 minutes. Strain the orzo, put in a bowl, and immediately add the spinach and olive oil. Stir to incorporate. Cover while you finish the dish. The orzo will wilt the spinach while keeping the flavor and texture.
  • Serve the chicken over the orzo with sauce with the chopped parsley and tarragon sprinkled on top.

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