Five months. I was away for FIVE months!! I’m sorry. I’m such a bad host. My life has been upside down since Christmas. I’m still working the late, late shift at my day job which keeps me tired and out of my kitchen. I tried to start a Youtube channel, but it didn’t pan out. The video quality was good, but the lighting and sound were bad. I don’t know if you have ever priced that kind of stuff, but it ain’t cheap. So that idea is on hold until I can afford it. I have been steadily working on my cookbook though. I add a few recipes here and there as time allows. I got sick, and had to change my diet a little. Which was good because I lost some weight. We lost two of our fur babies, which is always hard. That’s all I’ve been doing. Five months of chaos.
I decided to cook dinner tonight instead of our normal pizza or Chinese delivery. Sheridan hasn’t been into beef lately unless it’s ground. I’ve been limited to seafood, pork, and chicken. Chicken which is always the cheaper choice almost always wins. Anymore it seems like every time I go to the store it’s on sale. The only thing bad about have chicken all the time is I get tired of my normal preparations of it. I admit I am a creature of habit. I buy chicken. I fry the chicken. I eat the chicken. Eat and repeat. Tonight I broke the pattern, and made a dish I learned while in school. Chicken Chasseur. In a nutshell it’s chicken with wine, mushrooms, onions, and tomato sauce. For this recipe, I modernized the original recipe I learned while at school. I left out the roux and crushed tomatoes that the original called for. I chose to replace both with tomato paste. The tomato paste acts as a thickener when the liquid reduces. Then there’s the lack of crushed tomatoes….tomato for tomato. By doing this I also reduced the cost of the dish. Tomato paste is way cheaper then the crushed, and it gives a richer, deeper tomato flavor. Depending on the store, tomato pate is as low as $0.19 for store brand and $1.99 for crushed tomatoes. I’ll take those saving all day long.
In the recipe it calls for a whole roasting chicken cut into quarters. I always break down my own proteins when I can. When I do so, I follow the guidelines set by the ACF. You can watch the video here, or ask your local butcher to do it for you. In the video, when he does the French boning on the wing, this will give you the airline quarter for the recipe.
4 strips apple wood smoked bacon, cut into thin lardons
1 (4 1/2 to 5 lb.) whole roasting chicken, cut in to quarters: 2 leg/thigh quarters and 2 airline breast quarters
1 large yellow onion, small diced
8 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 c. dry white wine
3 c. chicken stock
1 large fresh bay leaf
2 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
vegetable oil for shallow frying
Salt and Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350. In a Dutch oven over medium low heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, but the bacon isn’t crisp. Remove bacon from the pan; set aside. Turn the heat up to medium high. While the oil and bacon drippings come to temperature, pat dry and season the chicken with salt and freshly cracked black pepper on both sides. Once oil is hot, brown the chicken leg quarters on both sides. Turn often to avoid dark spots. Remove from pan, and place on baking sheet. Chicken should be half cooked, so do not taste it. Repeat the process with the breast quarter. Remember the breast is boneless except for the wing drum, so it will cook faster. You may need to adjust your heat or move the chicken to a cooler area of the pan. Once browned, add the breasts to the baking sheet. Bake the chicken quarters until the juices are clear and the internal temperature is 160. Chicken will not fully cooked. While chicken is baking, make the sauce in the same pan that you browned the chicken in. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil, return to heat. Add onions and mushrooms to the pan; season with salt and black pepper. Stir and cook 3 minutes or until mushrooms start to softens slightly. Add thyme, bay leaf, and rosemary; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, cook and allow to brown slightly to a rich brick color. Make a well in the center, and add the wine to deglaze the pan. Stir well making sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce a couple of minutes, and add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. At this time the chicken should be at the desired temperature of 160; remove from oven. Carefully place the chicken into the sauce. Cover and simmer until the internal temperature is 165. Remove the sprigs of thyme, rosemary and bay leaf before serving.