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problem with pickled chicken

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I was given an old bottle of vintage red wine. No idea what type. I got a smoked chicken. I wanted to give it a quick pickling for flavor and effect. I have no sweeteners on hand. I put some clove in the wine boiled it up. 750 ml of wine. It's come out very bitter. Could the fat be doing it? What can I do to fix it?

Edit-could too little acidity be causing the bitter taste?

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  1. Did you smell & taste the wine before adding it to the pot? Tannin can make some young reds astringent, but it precipitates out with age, hence the need to decant some wines. If you just dumped the whole bottle in, you may have returned the lees to solution, which would add a certain bitterness/astringency. Tanners used to employ tannin, thus the name.

    It is a good idea to sample wine and any other unproven ingredient before adding it to a dish. Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: oystertripe

      The wine tastes fine. The wine is old. I thought about the tannins already.

    2. You could try adding some citrus juice to sweeten it, or maybe some butter (make a beurre manie?) to smooth out the flavors. I'm not so sure about clove, red wine, and chicken, though. Sounds like an unusual combination.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChristinaMason

        Sounds like a hassenpfeffer or sauerbraten marinade.

        1. re: oystertripe

          I wonder if the clove wasn't making it bitter?

      2. I ended up adding red wine vinegar and it turned out fine.