A French classic that never seems to go out of style, this dish combines mushrooms and chicken in a tomato and white-wine sauce. The name, literally "hunter's chicken," harks back to a time when game birds and mushrooms from the woods were a natural autumn combination.
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1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds in all)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
6 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.
Add the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderately high. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the vermouth and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
This earthy dish is perfectly suited to the rustic charms of a country red wine from southwestern France. Look for a bottle from one of the various appellations in that region, such as Cahors, Madiran, or Bergerac.
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