Chicken & Chanterelles

chickenAs I write, I am sweltering away, trying to keep cool by drinking copious amounts of iced water and making sure little sun and heat gets into the house (proving to be a futile attempt). The first days of September have been everything but autumnal here in the Netherlands, though it’s not all that unusual. Summer always seems to arrive late here for some reason.
Despite the heat, I decided to make a chicken stew yesterday after being helplessly wooed by the most beautiful, fragrant chanterelles ever. For me, there’s no better pairing for chanterelles than chicken; eggs come in at a close second.
This recipe is reminiscent of a coq au vin, though less time consuming. The chicken is cooked in a rich wine sauce with shallots, aromatic herbs and a little stock. At the end you add in the chanterelles and some garlic, let the sauce thicken, and serve. It’s a match made in heaven with a celeriac and potato mash, but you can also serve it like they serve coq au vin at some restaurants in Bourgogne — with plenty of fresh baguette and a jar of Dijon mustard. It is hard to describe the joy of spreading some mustard on a piece of bread, dipping it into that thick gravy and popping it into your mouth. You’ll just have to try it yourself.

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken & Chanterelles
Serves 4

  • knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp mild olive oil
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly grated pepper
  • 8 small, round shallots, quartered
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 120ml smooth, round red wine (I used a Merlot from the South West)
  • 400ml strong chicken stock
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 200g chanterelles (brushed clean & ends trimmed), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed casserole and brown the chicken on both sides, seasoning it well. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a dish and cover with foil. Carefully drain most of the fat. Lower the heat, add the shallots and flour and stir while cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and stir in the wine. Keep stirring until the wine is almost fully absorbed and coats the shallots. Now also stir in the stock. Return the chicken to the pan, adding any juices left on the plate. Drop in the bouquet garni. Lower the heat, place the lid on the pan, and cook the chicken for 25-30 minutes. Add the chanterelles and garlic, increase the heat and cook with the lid slightly ajar for an additional ten minutes. Serve with celeriac and potato mash or simply with bread and mustard.

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