Chasseur, literally “hunter” in French, is a method of preparation that traditionally is made with mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine, and shallots. It says autumn to me, but truly, I think that rule can easily be bent. One of the short cuts I employ as a deviation from the traditional Cuisine Française standard is the addition of beef stock instead of a veal demi-glace for flavor in the sauce. As such, this preparation is extremely easy, yet it tastes as if you have been simmering and prepping for days.
YIELD: 6 servings
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 breasts)
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ pound sliced mushrooms
¾ pounds firm tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup white wine
½ cup beef stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Season the chicken on both sides with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper per side, for a total of ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. When the foaming has subsided, sear the chicken on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side, until a brown crust starts to form.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the shallots and the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they are slightly soft.
Return the chicken to the pan and immediately add the cream, wine, beef stock, lemon juice, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and continue to sauté for about 6 more minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked but still very moist.
Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter. Add the flour to the pan to thicken the sauce. Whisk it, and then stir in the basil and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve it immediately.