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Also known as French hunter’s chicken, Chicken Chasseur combines bone-in chicken and mushrooms in a luscious tomato-based sauce flavored with cognac, parsley, and tarragon.
What is Chicken Chasseur?
It’s a classic French dish made with pan-cooked, bone-in chicken pieces that are served with a flavorful sauce chasseur – a tomato-based sauce with mushrooms, shallots, cognac and white wine, plus chicken stock, sour cream, and fresh parsley and tarragon. The flavor of this dish is quite unique and very delicious!
The word chasseur translate to “hunter” or “huntsmen-style” in French – so this dish is sometimes called French Hunter’s Chicken instead. It was originally prepared with wild fowl, rabbit, venison, or other game meats plus woodland mushrooms and fresh herbs collected during their hunting trip.
Why you’ll love Chicken Chasseur
- The juicy chicken and sauce have flavors that are deep, rich, and very delicious.
- It’s a fantastic choice for Sunday supper or a dinner party.
- Although you’ll want to follow the basic recipe, you can change things up a bit with different meat or other fresh herbs.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken – Buy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or breasts for this recipe. Or, if you are a modern-day hunter, swap in venison, wild fowl, rabbit, or other game meat.
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper – To season the chicken.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Unsalted Butter – To sauté the chicken and thicken the sauce.
- Mushrooms – Choose Cremini mushrooms (also sometimes called baby Bella).
- Fresh Garlic
- Cognac or Brandy – This is a necessary ingredient to achieve the distinctive sauce flavor. Cognac is preferred but brandy also would work.
- White Wine
- Tomatoes – Use both fresh plum tomatoes as well as tomato paste.
- Stock – To stay as close to the traditional recipe, both chicken and beef stock should be used.
- Sour Cream
- Herbs –Fresh tarragon and flat leaf parsley, for garnish as well as flavor.
Special Tools Needed
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife
- Various Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Large Sauté Pan or Skillet
- Wooden Spoon
- Large Platter with a piece of Aluminum Foil – To hold the chicken while you make the sauce.
- Instant-Read Probe Thermometer – The best way to tell when your chicken pieces are cooked through.
How do I make Chicken Chasseur?
- Season cut-up chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Sauté chicken pieces on both sides until cooked through, then remove to a platter.
- Sauté mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in the same skillet.
- Deglaze pan with cognac and white wine.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook briefly.
- Add stock and sour cream, then cook for another 10 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce.
- Stir in more butter to thicken the sauce, then nestle in chicken to heat through.
- Serve with mashed potatoes.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s best to have all ingredients prepped and measured out before beginning to cook. (Read Cook Like a Pro with Mise en Place.)
- To prepare the fresh Roma tomatoes for cooking, cut off the stem end, then cut in half vertically. Reach in with your fingers and squeeze out the seeds and pulp. Remove any big stem pieces then dice the tomatoes.
- When cooking the chicken, if you do not have a skillet large enough to hold all the chicken without touching, cook the chicken in two batches before moving on to the rest of the recipe.
- Timing to cook the chicken through will depend on the size of the pieces. We used large thigh and breast pieces which took between 16-18 minutes total to cook through. Smaller pieces will take less time.
- Always check the internal temperature of each chicken piece with a probe thermometer and transfer to the platter when they reach 155 degrees F. The residual heat will rise to a final temperature of 165 degrees F before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Chicken Chasseur ahead of time? This is a dish that is best served freshly cooked before serving. But to save some time, you could precook the mashed potatoes and just reheat when ready to serve. Also, prep and measure all of the ingredients ahead of time.
- How do I store leftovers? Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to three days.
- How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat individual portions in the microwave, being careful not to overcook the chicken. Or, reheat in a skillet on the stove top.
- Can I freeze? Yes, the leftovers can be frozen. Thaw before reheating. You can add some more chicken or beef stock to thin out the sauce if needed.
You might like these other Chicken Recipes:
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3 Russet potatoes (if serving with mashed potatoes), plus butter and milk
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (choose all thighs or all breasts or a combination of the two as we did.) You should have 7 or 8 pieces of chicken depending on the size.
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Cremini (baby Bella) mushrooms, cut in halves or quarters depending on their size
1/4 cup shallots, diced small
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup cognac or brandy
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 whole Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeds and core removed, then diced (*See Chef Tips in the post)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup beef stock or broth
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- If serving with mashed potatoes, peel and cut up Russets potatoes and cook in water until done. Drain and mash with butter and milk and set aside.
- Trim off and discard any large pieces of hanging skin from the thighs. Cut large breast pieces in half right through the breast bones.
- Lay the pieces out and sprinkle both sides with the salt and pepper.
- Heat a very large skillet over medium high heat and add two tablespoons of butter and all the olive oil. Once hot and frothy, lay chicken pieces skin side down and cook for eight minutes without moving the pieces.
- Flip each piece over and cook for eight more minutes. If a few of the breast pieces have a large open third side, flip to cook that side during the second eight-minute interval. Smaller chicken pieces will take less time to cook. Use a probe thermometer and remove when they reach 155 degrees F. They will have a carryover final temperature of 165 degrees F before serving.
- Remove pieces to a platter and loosely cover with foil.
- Pour off the fat into a bowl and wipe out any loose grit from the pan but leave the fond stuck to the bottom.
- Spoon two tablespoons of the fat back in and keep the heat at medium high.
- Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Move the mushrooms to the edges, add another tablespoon of fat then add shallots and garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Shut off burner and add the cognac then turn the burner back on to medium heat. This will avoid a flareup from the alcohol. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the wine and reduce by half.
- Move the mushrooms to the sides again and add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and stir and cook for two minutes.
- Add the stock and sour cream and stir to dissolve the sour cream, then raise heat to medium high heat and cook and stir until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chopped tarragon then the remaining butter and stir until melted.
- Nestle the chicken pieces back in along with any juice that accumulated under the chicken.
- Sprinkle on the chopped parsley and serve with the mashed potatoes.
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