California Central Coast Recipes
Hunter-Style Chicken with Wild Mushrooms
Chicken Hunter-Style with Wild Mushrooms is a great way to serve chicken for several people. I like to serve this on a bed of golden Polenta. This is so-o delicious and it's easy to make ahead of time and let it simmer slowly until your guests arrive. For this to be a knockout meal, all you have to accompany this is a nice salad and a glass of red wine.
This is one recipe you'll want to make more than once a year! It's pretty straight-forward. The only time-consuming part of it is browning the chicken thighs and legs. (Thighs are easier to brown, so if you're cooking for a crowd, use mostly thighs.)
And as I've said before, this tastes especially good on cold winter days and its fragrance and taste is addicting!
I like to serve this on soft Polenta, but you could also substitute pasta or brown rice.
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 1 hour
3/4 ounce dried Wild mushrooms , hydrated in one cup warm water
8 Chicken thighs and/or legs , excess fat trimmed and rinsed
4 ounces Pancetta or bacon , diced
1 medium White onion , peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced (2mm.)
1/2 cup flour
4 to 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound Italian brown mushrooms , washed and sliced thinly in T's
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup White wine
3 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme or
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 sprigs fresh oregano or
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 Soak the dried wild mushrooms in 1 cup warm water for a half hour. Right before starting to cook, drain the soaked mushrooms saving the water. Heat-up the saved water. Set aside for later. Coarsely dice or cut the hydrated mushrooms into slivers. This will give this dish a savory full-bodied mushroom flavor.
2 Salt and pepper the trimmed chicken. Pour the flour into a plastic bag large enough to hold a few pieces of chicken. Place several pieces of the chicken in the bag and shake the bag to lightly dust the chicken with flour. Remove chicken from bag and set aside for later. Continue to dust the rest of the chicken in this manner.
3 In a non-reactive large stockpot, add 2 tablespoons Olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Put chicken skin-side down and brown chicken all over. Remove chicken to plate and set aside. Drain off fat and discard it. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the fond. This really imparts lots of chicken flavor to the sauce.
4 Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan on medium heat and fry the pancetta or bacon. Cook a few minutes, then add the onion, separating each segment into thin strands and and cook until onion is softened and lightly golden.
5 Add in the brown mushrooms and continue to saute until cooked down a bit. Then add in the hydrated wild mushrooms. Continue to saute until the mushrooms are lightly brown.
6 Add in the white wine and deglaze. Cook the wine down by half. Add in the dried mushroom hydrating water and the chicken broth. Add in the thyme and oregano and stir well.
7 Pace browned chicken in stockpot and stir well and distribute evenly throughout sauce. Cover and let cook on a low simmer for an hour or so. The longer it cooks, the tastier it gets!
8 After an hour, taste sauce and correct seasoning to personal taste.
9 Serve on polenta or brown rice and enjoy eating satisfaction bliss!
A good Sangiovese or young Cabernet will go well with this.