I have a confession: French cooking makes me nervous! French food seems so deliciously complicated that I tend to stay in more familiar territory--Italian cooking. Yet as I dapple in the cuisine, I am finding that not all French recipes are complicated, or scary. Chicken Chassuer (pronounced shah-sur) is one of those hard-to-mess-up recipes.
Chasseur means "hunter" in French, and was originally served with wild game. I, however, substitute a basic supermarket chicken in my dish. The main ingredients include butter (of course, it's French!), mushrooms, shallots and wine. While recipes vary, most call for cognac, a special French brandy. I generally don't have cognac on hand and use whatever brandy I have available. It works well enough for me, but I'm sure a French connoisseur would argue that only a top-notch cognac will do!
In the photo above, I served my chasseur with penne pasta--it's all I had in the pantry at the time. As good as it was, it is more typical of French cooking if served with buttered noodles or mashed potatoes. Are you ready for the recipe? Well, voila!
8 pieces of chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 stick of butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups of sliced button mushrooms
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Rinse chicken parts and pat dry. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, add 1/2 the butter. Once the butter has melted and stopped foaming, add the chicken and brown on both sides. Place chicken on a plate and keep warm. Pour excess fat out of the pan.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan, add the shallots and saute until tender. Add the mushrooms, saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, brandy, tomato paste and chicken stock. Bring the sauce to a boil while continuing to stir. Reduce the heat and add the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the chicken to the pan, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley.