I always enjoy cooking recipes that have great preparations to them, like all the wonderful curries I have cooked recently, with their amazing herbs and spices (I love opening the cumin spice pot every single time just for the smell). But what is always one step better, is making a recipe like this Chicken Chasseur, where you even have to prepare fruit/vegetables like the tomatoes used here, in such a precise way, to use them as the Chef, who wrote it, intended!
As with any recipe I try and hopefully enjoy, it’s the smells in the kitchen that first let you know whether you are going to enjoy it or not. As this recipe was cooking, all I can say is that the smells that started coming out, had me salivating until the food hit the plate! It’s hard to describe online how something smells followed by the reaction it causes to the senses but this was something else – whether it was the caramelised shallots, or the tarragon, or the tomato purée with the stock, or simply all the ingredients cooking together, this had my girlfriend and I counting down the minutes till I could plate it up.
All I can say is that it tasted as good as it looked. Nothing was left on either of our plates. I used chicken thighs for my version and all six pieces I used, were eaten up. This will become a personal favourite and one that I hope to make again and again.
As per normal, I was making it for the two of us, so I halved all the ingredients.
4 Plum Tomatoes
50g/2oz Plain Flour
1.5Kg/3lb 4oz Chicken cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp Olive Oil
175g/6oz Brown Cap Mushrooms
10 Baby Shallots, peeled and halved
20g/¾oz Caster Sugar
175ml/6fl oz White Wine
450ml/16fl oz Chicken Stock
3 tbsp Tomato Purée
15g/½oz Tarragon, chopped
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper
1 Score a cross on each tomato, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 45 seconds, then drain and peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the seeds and chop the flesh.
2 Place the flour in another bowl and season with salt and pepper. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour, to coat, shaking off the excess.
3 Set a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil and a third of the butter. When the butter foams, add the chicken, skin side down if you have left the skin on, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4 Heat another third of the butter in a second frying pan, fry the mushrooms until golden brown and then add them to the pan with the chicken.
5 Place the remainder of the butter in the second pan used for the mushrooms, add the shallots and sugar and fry for 3 minutes until the shallots are golden brown and caramelised.
6 Add the wine, bring to the boil, then pour over the chicken.
7 Return the pan with the chicken to the heat, adding the stock, tomato purée and two-thirds of the tarragon. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.
8 Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley and the rest of the tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve two pieces of chicken on each plate and spoon over all the sauce.