This is such a lovely, simple recipe where whole chicken legs cook in red wine, thyme and mushrooms and the sauce slowly sweetens and reduces. A side of potatoes is traditional and good bread makes sure that none of the sauce goes to waste. Yes, I am advocating for double carbs here. There are many recipes for chicken chasseur but this one from James Martin on the BBC Good Food website has ingredients that I nearly always have to hand and the end result is comforting and delicious.
I add a carrot, as instructed by the commenters, and although it’s a bit more effort I put the chicken under a hot grill for the last five minutes to crisp up the skin. Chicken or beef stock can be used and a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with water thickens the sauce if it hasn't reduced enough and you can't wait any longer.
Col prefers chicken off the bone and I’m the opposite so we compromise and eat whole legs the first time around then the remaining legs get shredded into the sauce for round two. If the people you’re feeding prefer boneless chicken I’d still cook legs but remove the bones before serving, or you could use boneless chicken thighs. I can’t see chicken breasts standing up to the cooking time here and they won’t give the dish anywhere near as much flavour.
The chicken takes on a deep pink, almost gamey colour from the red wine but as long as it's simmered in the sauce for an hour it will be thoroughly cooked.
For maximum flavour, skin-on chicken is a must.
James Martin from BBC Good Food
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 chicken legs
- salt and pepper
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 200g button mushrooms
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 225ml red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 500ml chicken stock (or beef stock)
- 1 tsp cornflour (optional)
- Put a large lidded saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil (I use a 6 litre saucepan).
- Season 4 chicken legs with salt and pepper then fry for 5 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. I half cover the saucepan with a lid as the fat can splatter.
- Remove the chicken legs from the saucepan and place to one side. Add 25g of butter to the saucepan and fry 1 chopped onion for 5 minutes.
- Add 3 chopped garlic cloves and fry until the garlic starts to colour then add 200g of button mushrooms and 1 sliced carrot. Cook for another 2 minutes then add 225ml of red wine and 2 tablespoons of tomato purée. Stir well.
- Once the liquid bubbles, simmer for 5 minutes then add 2 thyme sprigs and 500ml of chicken stock.
- Add the chicken legs back into the saucepan, cover with a lid (I leave a tiny gap) and simmer for 1 hour.
- After an hour, remove the chicken legs from the pan and optionally place under a hot grill for 5 minutes, skin side up, to crisp the skin.
- Turn the heat under the saucepan up high (keeping the lid off) and boil rapidly for around 10 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens. If you want to thicken the sauce more, mix 1 teaspoon of cornflour with 1 teaspoon of water, add to the saucepan and cook for another few minutes.
- Place a chicken leg on each plate, pour over the sauce and serve with potatoes, greens and bread.