Slow-cooked chicken chasseur, a French classic, makes an elegant weekend meal. (Gretchen McKay / Post-Gazette)

Slow-cooked chicken chasseur, a French classic, makes an elegant weekend meal. (Gretchen McKay / Post-Gazette)

Try this slow-cooked French classic for Sunday chicken dinner

While you’re at it, put your newfound knife skills to the test and cut up a whole chicken.

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

By Gretchen McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Slow cookers are popular this time of year, when roasts, chili, soups and casseroles stick to your ribs and chase away the cold weather. But you also can go slow and low in your oven. This one-pot chicken chasseur bubbles away for more than five hours at 225 degrees, or about 125 degrees lower than most recipes.

This classic French stew, also known as hunter’s chicken, mixes seared chicken with mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine and bacon lardons for added texture and richness.

I find the freakishly huge size of grocery-store chicken breasts kind of scary, so I look for a small (less than 4 pounds) whole chicken and cut it into eight pieces. If you don’t know how to break down a chicken, the Serious Eats website has a good tutorial. Enter “Serious Eats cut up a chicken” (without the quotation marks) in your browser bar.

Serve the finished dish with rice, mashed potatoes, couscous or egg noodles.

Chicken chasseur

1 (2- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

2 tablespoons combined salt and freshly ground black pepper

1⅓ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 slices bacon, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

½ cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or good-quality store-bought

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

Season chicken heavily on all sides with salt and pepper, then dredge front and back with flour. Shake off excess.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Meanwhile, heat Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add olive oil.

Add bacon and cook until it’s ¾ cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.

Sear chicken on all sides in batches, 2 minutes per side. Try not to overcrowd pan. On last batch, add 2 tablespoons butter.

Remove chicken from pot and add mushrooms and shallots. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add white wine and deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape the bottom.

Add chicken stock, tomato paste and tomatoes. Return bacon and chicken to pot.

Let it come to boil, remove from heat, cover and place in oven. Cook for 5 hours 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Remove from oven and let settle for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and thyme.

Serves 4-6.

— From “Low & Slow Cooking: 60 Hands-Off Recipes That Are Worth the Wait,” by Robyn Almodovar (Page Street)

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