27/04/2014

Poulet Chasseur [Hunter's Stew]

Chasseur Sauce is a traditional sauce in French cuisine, of shallots, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine and herbs, the addition of chicken pieces makes it Poulet Chasseur, or Chicken Chasseur as we more commonly know it.

Chasseur is French for 'hunter' and a dish we probably already know from the Italian as Pollo a la Cacciatore, or 'Hunter's Chicken'.

Simply one-pot, you can make it as high-brow or as low-brow as you like ...

At it absolute simplest, it is a case of adding chopped onion or shallot, minced garlic, whole button mushrooms, tomato purée, perhaps some skinned and de-seeded chopped tomatoes, herbs, such as parsley, thyme, maybe tarragon, black pepper, chicken stock, wine, be it red or white, and all the chicken pieces you can find.

Pieces? Yeah! Once the breast has been removed, the pieces are whatever is left: wings, thighs, drumsticks and anything else you see that looks okay to eat. Chuck it all in! If your paleo proclivities are towards not using wine, then don't. Just the stock will do fine.

Ensure it is covered with stock and wine, and cook for a good 2-3 hours in the oven at, say, 150C (300F?).

Serve with thick, creamy mash and something green. Dinner, done!


I did mine ever so slightly differently ... well, don't I always?

Interested? My method is, I suppose, a little more refined and will give a dish already removed from the bone but all the goodness cooked in.

I simply cooked my chicken through for about 4 hours at 125C covered with nothing more than water and a couple of bay leaves in there. What I get from that is cooked chicken and stock.

Remove the chicken pieces, skin, remove the flesh from the bones and winkle out any gristle and sinew, returning these waste parts and the stock to a pan to reduce. Strain and set the stock aside. You'll no doubt have more than you need for this dish, so you've got a chicken broth already sorted for another day.

Don't shred the chicken flesh - leave it in large and irregular sized pieces.

Shortly before you want to eat, melt some goose fat (or your favourite paleo fat) in a good size skillet, sauté off some mushrooms, add onion or shallot, garlic, a couple of skinned and de-seeded tomatoes, chopped, dried thyme, fresh parsley, black pepper, sea salt, the chicken flesh and now a good glug of wine (red or white, doesn't matter) and chicken stock.

Simmer and reduce while you prepare your vegetables.

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