Winter food doesn’t really ooze glamour, it’s more stodge and calories that tends to appeal at this time of year. But I may have found the antedote.
Browsing through my recipe cuttings I stumbled upon a dish that time forgot… chicken chasseur!!! It’s a cracking and very chic casserole that you can get underway in advance and just leave it quietly simmering until you’re ready to serve it up to the troops.
The recipe states that you should reduce the sauce down at the end which gives it a lip gloss sheen that Diana Ross would be proud of. It’s a total homage to the 70s.
When you get beyond the retro name, it breaks down to chicken legs cooked in red wine. It’s the kind of dish you can imagine Beverley cooking in Abigail’s Party with Demis Roussos playing in the background.
Before I give you the recipe here’s a bit of history I found on the interweb that you can bore your friends with:
“Chasseur is French for hunter. Chasseur, or “Hunter Style” was meant for badly shot game or tough old birds. The birds were always cut up to remove lead shot or torn parts, and often cooked all day on the back of the range if they were old or tough. Originally the veggies used were ones hunters would find while they hunted.”
All this talk of tough old birds and lead shot is destroying the glamour… I’ll just get on with giving you the recipe I think!
Glossy Chicken Chasseur
1 tsp olive oil
4 chicken legs
1 onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves , crushed
200g pack small button or chestnut mushrooms
225ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 thyme sprigs
500ml chicken stock
1. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large lidded casserole. Season the chicken, then fry for about 5 mins on each side until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
2. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan. Add the onion, then fry for about 5 mins until soft. Add garlic, cook for about 1 min, add the mushrooms, cook for 2 mins, then add the wine. Stir in the tomato purée, let the liquid bubble and reduce for about 5 mins, then stir in the thyme and pour over the stock. Slip the chicken back into the pan, then cover and simmer on a low heat for about 1 hr until the chicken is very tender.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Rapidly boil down the sauce for 10 mins or so until it is syrupy and the flavour has concentrated. Put the chicken legs back into the sauce and serve.
The boys absolutely adored this meal… Sam asked for seconds and THIRDS!!!!
As well as the button mushrooms, I threw in some carrots which worked really well. The sauce is intensely tasty and the chicken really tender.