Hunter's Chicken

Hunter’s Chicken / Poulet Chasseur Recipe

A French classic that never seems to go out of style, Italy has its own version too called chicken cacciatore. This dish fuses mushrooms and chicken in a rich brown stock (a parent of espagnol-based sauce) The name, literally "hunter's chicken”, harks back to a time when game birds and mushrooms from the woods were a natural autumn combination. Definitely a family dish to enjoy next to the fire place along with mashed potatoes or rice…
Serves 8.

Brown Stock
Chicken parts: 2x backs, 2x wings, 2x necks and knobs from the legs
1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) grape seed oil and a couple of pinches of salt.
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, cleaned and chopped
4 garlic cloves, skin on and crushed
Mushroom trimmings (feet).
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Aromatics such as 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs and pareley stems, 1 tsp black peppercorns,
1.75 qts (1.75L) veal stock or 50/50 (stock + demi-glace/watch video), or beef stock with 2 beef bouillon cubes.

Heat up veal stock and let simmer. In a hot pot or dutch oven, sear chicken part on both sides to brown stage with the oil and salt. Transfer into a bowl. Remove some of the fat left in the pot if too greasy. Cook mirepoix (veggies only) for 15 minutes on high heat, stirring every so often (roast them well). Add tomato paste, stir well and cook for an additional 5 min. Add seared chicken parts, the hot veal stock and aromatics. Bring to boil, cover and cook on low heat for an hour. Remove and discard solids and sieve in a saucepan. Put brown stock back on stove, skim off impurities and fat as it continue to simmer and reduce to 1.25 qt (1.25L).

Hunter’s Sauce
Sauce chasseur (hunter’s sauce) is a simple or compound brown sauce used in French cuisine. It’s generally made using demi-glace or an espagnole sauce as a base, and often includes mushrooms and shallots. It may also include tomatoes and a finishing of fines herbes.

6 to 8 ea chicken legs (one per serving), cut in half from the joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick
1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) grape seed oil and salt
1 lb. (450g) mushroom such as baby bella, chanterelle, shiitake, or porcini (cèpes), cleaned and bottom trimmed (save for brown stock)
4 ounces (130g) shallots, minced
1 Tbsp (10g) porcini powder (optional)
2 ounces (60g) butter
1.7 ounces (50g) flour
1/2 cup (125ml) cognac or brandy
1 cup (250ml) white wine such as Chardonnay
1.25 (1.25L) brown stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian parsley and tarragon, cleaned and chopped.

In a very hot sautoir or dutch oven, pour in oil and sprinkle some salt. Sear chicken in 2 batches (skin side down first) in both sides and cook in the oven for 45 min at 375ºF (190ºC). Transfer chicken onto a plate to rest. Save rendered chicken juice and add it to the brown stock. In the same pan, melt butter and saute mushrooms on high heat for 8 min. Throw in shallots, season with salt and cook for 3 to 4 min more. Add porcini powder if desired and flambe with cognac. Deglaze with Chardonnay and reduce to two-third. Sprinkle flour, stir up and add hot stock stirring constantly – bring to a boil and let simmer to thicken. Reajust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Dunk chicken in the sauce and let simmer for 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and tarragon. This dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Rewarm slowly prior serving. Enjoy!

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