Poulet Sauté Chasseur, or Hunter’s Chicken, crisp sauteed chicken served with a hearty sauce with the distinct flavour of with tarragon. A woodsy, French country classic.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 large Roma tomatoes
- 4 chicken legs, thigh & back attached
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 4 whole peppercorns
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 sprig tarragon
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 ounce piece of salt pork, cut into lardon strips
- 1/4 cup butter (divided)
- 1/2 pound raw mushrooms, sliced
- 2 shallots, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons (ish) brandy
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups veal stock (substitute: beef stock)
- 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
- 1 teaspoons chopped parsley
- Optional: 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with two tablespoons of water
- Optional: parsley & tarragon for garnish
- Blanch, peel, de-seed and chop tomatoes; comcassé (in small, seedless half inch cubes). Reserve until needed.
- In the traditional method, each piece of chicken contains only one bone. To achieve this, remove first the back and then the thigh bone; cutting them away cleanly to the top of the leg joint. (This will help accelerate your cooking time and make it easier to eat.) Fold over the skin and flesh of thigh to form a neat package (you can tie it if you want) and reserve. In a small pot, add one tablespoon of olive oil, over medium heat, until liquid and hot and then add remaining bones (thigh, back and any extra bits) and brown well before turning (about 6 minutes/side). This is a brown stock recipe, be sure to get lots of colour on those bones.
- While bones are browning, cut mushrooms, shallots, garlic and herbs, reserve remains (ie: ends of mushrooms, shallots, even the skins off the tomatoes for flavour). Then drain off excess fat from now browned and cooked, bones. Cover with water and return to stove over medium low heat, add thyme, whole peppercorns, parsley, one sprig of tarragon, and the bay leaf to stock as it begins to simmer. Add also the remains of the shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes etc. to stock to give it lots of flavour, simmering over low heat for about 30 minutes to reduce bay about half, while you cook the rest of the dish.
- In a large, deep sauté pan, sauté lardons over medium heat until golden brown then remove, drain, and de-grease the pan. Reserve cooked salt pork cubes at room temperature. Do not rinse your pan, that golden colour on the bottom of the pan is FLAVOUR. (If you want, you can use the pork fat instead of butter, but it’s mighty salty.)
- Season the prepared chicken pieces with salt and pepper, over medium heat add half the butter and remaining olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is to temperature, seer chicken until brown, about 15 minutes on each side, basting chicken with butter and juices from the bottom of the pan (20 minutes per side if you are cooking bone-in). Watch that the bottom of the pan does not burn, butter has a higher smoke point than oil. Remove the now golden-brown chicken to rest on a platter or dish, uncovered, in a warm spot.
- Drain any excess chicken fat from your pan and add mushrooms, shallots and garlic to the now golden, hot pan and season with pepper only. Add remaining butter, and saute until golden. Deglaze pan with brandy, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom to dissolve. Add white wine and reduce over medium heat by about two thirds. (In the photos, you will notice that I removed the mushrooms to deglaze the pan, you don’t have to.)
- Take reduced chicken stock in second pot, and strain liquid directly into pan, add veal stock and tomatoes continue to simmer over medium high heat, uncovered, about two minutes. Add salt pork lardons and stir to combine, as sauce simmers, the lardons to soften, add chopped tarragon and parsley to the sauce and stir, cooking over medium-low heat about 4 minutes. (NOTE: if sauce is not thickened to your liking, add optional cornstarch slurry to hot sauce to thicken) Check seasoning level, adjust as needed and immediately return the chicken to the pan, on top of the sauce to warm, and steam to be sure the chicken is hot, three to five minutes.
In this type of dish, I prefer to serve the sautéed proteins crisp, not soggy. That’s why I opt not to cover them with sauce but instead nestle those crispy bits in, resting gently on top of the bubbling sauce. Finish with chopped parsley or tarragon or garnish with whole, sprigs of fresh herbs for a rustic look.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: French