13 May 2011

Poulet Chasseur (Hunter's Chicken)

This is a variation of Chicken Chasseur, the French cousin of Chicken Cacciatore. This recipe incorporates fresh apple cider and a touch of vinegar in place of white wine, which produces a unique balance of tart and savory flavors that are enhanced by the addition of a salty parmesan cheese rind. This dish is much better cooled and reheated the next day, making it perfect for entertaining guests or even transporting.

Chasseur sauce is attributed to Duke Philippe De Mornay in the sixteenth century. Mornay was the Governor of Saumur and Lord of the Plessis Marly. He was a great Protestant writer and called the "Protestant Pope." It is said that he also invented Mornay Sauce, Sauce B├ęchamel and Sauce Lyonnaise as well. It's debatable whether "hunter" refers to the game used in the dish or the act of gathering mushrooms, but does it really matter?

Serves 4
Prep 10 minutes
Cooking time 60 minutes

From the Barnyard:
3 lbs. chicken thighs (about 8-10) or partridge thighs (a whole lot of them)

From the Garden:
3 large shallots, minced
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, cut in halves
1/4 lb. shiitake, oyster or morel mushrooms (optional for flavor variations)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 sprig fresh tarragon leaves, minced

From the Pantry:
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1-1/2 tbsp. flour
1-1/2 cup apple cider
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
Parmesan cheese rind (two one-inch squares)
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in dutch oven on stovetop. Salt and pepper chicken and then brown thighs, skin side down first without moving for the first few minutes, until golden on both sides, remove and set aside. Drain most of oil from pan. Saute shallots and mushrooms until transparent, then add garlic and thyme. Cook until tender, about 1 more minute. Add flour and brown, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add cider and vinegar and scrape bottom of pot. Add tomatoes and stock and return chicken thighs (remove skin) to pot. Add cheese rind and bring to boil. Lower heat and cover, cooking for 45 minutes. Remove cheese rinds and add fresh tarragon and serve over rice or mashed potatoes.


  1. Nice recipe, Mark. Will have to try. Who made the dutch oven?

  2. I use an AllClad dutch oven. The piece shown in the photo is actually just a porcelain casserole serving dish.

  3. I should've have stuck my foot in that!

  4. you don't say where/when to add the tomatoes!
    (this discovered mid-prep) I added them with the broth, I'll let you know...

  5. it was num. I also used dry vermouth instead of apple cider. Worked well.


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