Chicken Chasseur is a rich and flavorful French stew, where chicken braises slowly until it is juicy and fall off the bone tender.
Rustic in its nature, this Hunter’s Chicken is the ultimate addition to your list of favorite chicken dishes.
French cuisine is often though of as being fancy and complicated, but many of their best dishes are humble, simple homestyle food.
What is Chicken Chasseur?
Chicken Chasseur, often known as “hunter’s chicken” or poulet chasseur, is a classic French dish that epitomizes the rustic and hearty flavors of traditional French cuisine.
It is not to be confused with Chicken Cacciatore, which is the Italian rendition of hunter’s chicken.
The name “chasseur” means hunter in French, reflecting its origins as a meal that hunters would prepare with the game and foraged mushrooms they gathered. This dish has evolved into a beloved comfort food, typically made with chicken, although variations with other meats are not uncommon.
The key to Chicken Chasseur lies in its rich and aromatic chasseur sauce. Although there are variations, wine, mushrooms, shallots and tomato are typically key components.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Rich and Complex Flavors: The combination of tender chicken, earthy mushrooms, and aromatic herbs like tarragon and parsley creates an amazing flavor profile. The white wine and cognac add more depth, elevating the dish to a gourmet level.
- Perfect Comfort Food: There’s something incredibly comforting about a well-cooked chicken dish. This recipe, with its hearty sauce and succulent chicken, is perfect for those nights when you want something satisfying and heartwarming.
- Versatility in Serving: Chicken Chasseur pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Whether it’s crusty bread, creamy mashed potatoes, or light egg noodles, this dish complements them all, making it a versatile choice for any meal setting.
- Interesting and Impressive: Its elegant presentation and rich taste make Chicken Chasseur an excellent choice for entertaining guests, or for a special family Sunday dinner.
- A Taste of French Cuisine: This recipe brings the essence of French cooking into your kitchen. You don’t have to be a professional chef to create this culinary masterpiece, yet the flavors are sophisticated enough to make you feel like one.
For a complete list, along with exact measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Here are the key elements you need to make this French braised chicken:
- Chicken – Bone-in, skin-on thighs are best for this type of cooking. They provide a deeper flavor and more succulent texture compared to boneless cuts. If you’re looking for a lighter option, chicken breasts can be used, but keep in mind they won’t be as moist and tender. Traditionally, whole cut up chicken is used.
- Shallots – Shallots are milder and slightly sweeter than onions, making them perfect for this dish. If you can’t find shallots, a mild red onion can be a good substitute, but the unique flavor of shallots is highly recommended.
- Mushrooms – They are crucial for adding earthiness to the dish. White or cremini mushrooms are great choices for their availability and mild flavor. For a more intense mushroom flavor, consider mixing in some wild mushrooms.
- White Wine – A key ingredient, it adds acidity and brightness to the sauce. Use a dry white wine that you enjoy drinking. Avoid cooking wines, as they often contain added salt and other additives that can affect the flavor of your dish.
- Cognac – This adds a layer of complexity and richness to the sauce. If you don’t have cognac, brandy is a suitable substitute. For a non-alcoholic version, you can omit it.
- Tomatoes – Crushed tomatoes add a slight tang and richness, balancing the flavors. Tomato paste is a concentrated alternative that adds depth and color.
- Herbs – Fresh tarragon and parsley are not just garnishes, they’re integral to the dish. Tarragon brings a unique, slightly anise-like flavor, while parsley adds freshness. If fresh herbs aren’t available, dried ones can be used, but the flavor will be different. Keep in mind that dried are more potent, so use only 1 teaspoon of dried in place of 1 tablespoon dried.
How to Make Chicken Chasseur
1. Brown the chicken: Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then dredge them with a little flour. Sear them on both sides in butter. Remove to a plate.
2. Create the sauce: Sauté the shallots, then mushrooms, then garlic. Add white wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add cognac along with fresh tarragon and parsley. Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. Place chicken thighs in the sauce skin side up.
3. Bake: Bake in oven preheated to 400°F for 30 minutes. Mix softened butter with flour, then slowly stir this mixture into the sauce. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185°F and is fall off the bone tender.
We usually enjoy this French chicken stew with a side of crusty bread. It’s great for sopping up those delicious juices.
Storage and Reheating
Make a big batch and enjoy Chicken Chasseur for a few days, as it keeps on getting better. Store it in an air tight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
It freezes beautifully too, up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a dash of water if more liquid is needed.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Control the Heat: When cooking the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms, manage your heat carefully. You want to sauté them until they’re fragrant and tender, not burnt. Overcooking these ingredients can lead to a bitter taste.
- Deglaze the Pan: When adding white wine to the skillet, scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. These bits are packed with flavor and will add a lot to your sauce.
- Quality of Wine and Cognac: Use a good quality white wine and cognac that you would enjoy drinking. The flavor of the alcohol greatly influences the sauce, so the better the quality, the better the taste of your dish.
- Thickening the Sauce: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can adjust the amount of butter-flour mixture (known as beurre manié) you add towards the end. Start with a small amount and increase as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Check the Temperature: Be sure your oven is properly preheated before baking the chicken. Also, the cooking time might vary slightly based on the size and thickness of the chicken thighs, so adjust accordingly.
- Rest the Chicken: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps in retaining the juices, ensuring the meat is moist and flavorful.
Try this delightful stewed chicken soon, and declare to everyone that you’ve mastered the art of French cooking!
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Chicken Chasseur, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2.5 Tbsp butter, divided
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in skin-on
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp flour, divided
- 2 shallots, sliced or chopped
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup cognac
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes (or 2 Tbsp tomato paste)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dust it all over with 1 Tbsp flour. Heat 1.5 Tbsp butter on medium-high heat in a large skillet and sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown (about 6-7 minutes per side). Remove to a plate.
- In the same skillet, remove any excess fat, add sliced shallots and sauté for a minute. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add white wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add cognac along with fresh tarragon and parsley.
- Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes (or tomato paste), and cook for 10 minutes.
- Place chicken thighs in the sauce skin side up. Place in oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Mix remaining 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp flour into a smooth paste. Stir this mixture into the sauce (this thickens up the sauce) and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185°F and is fall off the bone tender.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with crusty warm bread, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 416Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 181mgSodium 489mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 34g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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