Misleading menu titles, the Hunter’s Chicken episode.
Hunter’s chicken (French: poulet chasseur, poulet à la chasseur and poulet sauté chasseur), such a classic but over the years it has been hijacked by American theories of taking the original and smothering it with cheese. I shall redress that and henceforth within this post there is no further mention of the offening curd.
We shall also refer to the French title, at least in some form, albeit English.
Chicken Chasseur, I’ve skinned and de-boned 21 thighs. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do this, many like the skin on, many like the bone in. Alternatively you could just purchase thighs already skinned and de-boned; I just like to keep my hand in, ooer missus.
Do not forget, I’m cooking so many thighs as I subscribe to the create once use many theory. Put the effort in on a Sunday and you shall provide meals for easy use during the busy working week, hence I’m using my largest sauté pan. 11.5″ x 3.5″.
Take each thigh and gently roll it in flour, it matters not if plain, self-raising, or strong bread flour, it simply helps to create a slight browning, also the flour will serve as a thickening agent for the sauce later on. It is your choice to season the flour or not, depending upon the seasoning in your choice of stock, I’m using strong bread flour; read on.
Finely dice 3 shallots, my favoured choice are echalion (the elongated variety), you could of course use any of your choice.
But make sure the shallots are finely diced, not roughly chopped, you want them to almost melt in to the sauce as the cooking progresses.
Take 120g baby button mushrooms and finely slice, this is all about preparation for when we begin.
Place a small cross on the bottom of 2 salad tomatoes, drop then in boiling water for 1 minute, then in cold water, then remove the skin and chop.
My 10 yr old doesn’t like tarragon so we use freshly groud fennel instead for that similar aniseed flavour. At this stage I als0 prepare 500g chicken stock and 2kg passata which shall be added slowly.
Heat a little oil in the pan and place the carousel of chicken in the pan. Brown for a few minutes before rotating each one, you may find it helpful to begin at the 1 o’clock position and rotate methodically to ensure even cooking, (we’re only after a very slight browning at this stage).
Rotate each thigh in turn and add 2 tspns ground fennel seeds.
Rotate the chicken a second time and add the shallots then deglaze with brandy.
Add 400ml white wine, followed by 1kg passata.
After 40 minutes add the other 1kg of passata and some roughly chopped parsley. After 10 minutes add 1 tbspn gravy browning.
Stir well, get the mash on the go. Then move to the garnish.
Stir, stir and stir again.
Looking good. The sauce will thicken helped by the flour. If you wish you could add a stock pot or cube but taste and check the consistency before you do.
The garnish consists of the sliced mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and parsley.
Add colour via hot oil to reduce the water content of the mushrooms.
Add the tomatoes.
Finally add the parsley to the chicken.
Stir for 10 minutes then serve up in the style you wish.
Alternatively, there are several schools of thought here, you could leave this to cook for a further 2 to 3 hours, I love both versions. If you leave it for those extra couple of hours the chicken will remain completely moist but will break apart; #MrsParlez prefers the longer version.
Get stuck in and enjoy.
Any questions? You know where to find me.