If you’ve never heard of Chicken Chasseur, you’re not in a minority. Often called Hunters Chicken it’s a delicious alternative to a boring weeknight meal. This classic French country dish will tantalize your taste buds as you amaze your family with your culinary skills. And the best part is just how easy it is to make.
I love when dishes surprise me. The sauce in my chicken chasseur was simply ah-mazing. It reminded me of an espagnole sauce and went perfectly with the mushrooms and chicken thighs.
This dish will be making a regular appearance on our dinner menu.
What is Chasseur?
The name Chasseur is derived from the French word for hunter, and this is where the name Hunter’s Sauce comes from. It’s traditionally paired with wild fowl, rabbit, venison and other game meats. When returning from the hunt, the hunters would gather the mushrooms and fresh herbs that they would use in the sauce.
Sauce chasseur is a brown sauce used in French cuisine made using a demi-glace or espagnole sauce as the base. Mushrooms, shallots, fresh herbs and often tomatoes are used to enhance the sauce. My recipe makes a simpler version of this classic sauce.
What ingredients do I need to make Chicken Chasseur?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Chicken Chasseur. In Chef Speak this is called the “Mise en Place” which translates to “Everything in its Place”.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Do I have to use Chicken Thighs to make Hunter’s Chicken?
No, you don’t. You can use any part of the chicken that you like, including boneless breasts. I find that the dark meat of the chicken thighs is a perfect match for this earthy sauce.
Do I have to use Marsala to make the Chasseur Sauce?
No, you don’t. Traditionally Cognac or Brandy is used along with a dry white wine. But if alcohol is an issue you can simply leave them out of the recipe.
The sauce won’t taste quite the same, but it will still be delicious.
How do I make Chicken Chasseur?
- Remove any extra fat or skin from the thighs.
- Dredge the chicken thighs in flour seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the olive oil to a large saute pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken skin side down and allow it to sear and brown nicely. *If your pan cooks unevenly (like mine) rotate the thighs halfway without turning over to get the top of the skin fully browned.
- When the chicken has browned nicely turn the thighs over and cook for another 2 minutes. Then remove from the pan until the sauce has been made. *If there is a lot of residue from frying the thighs, dump the oil and start with a clean pan
Add the shallots, garlic mushrooms to the pan and saute for 5 minutes until the mushrooms have cooked. Don’t let the garlic or shallots burn.
*add more olive oil if needed the mushrooms really suck up the oil
Deglaze the pan with the wine and marsala.
*Traditionally the recipe calls for Cognac or Brandy and a dry white wine.
Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, beef stock, and tarragon to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Add in the cream and allow the mixture to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the browned chicken thighs to the pan, leaving the tops exposed. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
**If the sauce isn’t thick enough allow it to reduce a little longer. If the sauce is too thick add a little water.
Serve the chicken with mushroom sauce and garnish with chopped parsley. This dish would go great with roasted or mashed potatoes and your favorite green vegetable.