Appetite For Instruction: Poulet Saute Chasseur (Chicken With Mushrooms)

Recipe demonstrated by Chef Bryant Currie and his Le Cordon Bleu students

The worst thing about a classroom is sitting at some uncomfortable desk and listening to your instructor do his best impersonation of Ben Stein talking about the downfall of the Danish empire in 1814.

No need to worry about that at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School here in Dallas.

Recently, Chef Bryant Currie let me sit in while he and five or six of his students prepared the dish Poulet Sauté Chassuer (sautéd chicken with mushrooms and tomato sauce) for a celebrity chef cooking demo being held at the State Fair of Texas later on that afternoon.

Trust me, these students definitely didn't look like they were about to start practicing origami out of boredom.

Chef Currie and his students seemed a bit rushed, only having one hour to prepare enough samplings for anyone who would be attending or walking by the cooking demo.

I would assume a lot--because hellooo, it's free food at the fair.

But as much joy as there is in eating this dish, there's plenty in the creation. If you need a little help visualizing it, then close your eyes and picture a sea of red with mushrooms and roma tomatoes with the strong smell of garlic and cognac with a lightly seasoned chicken breast laying on top of it all. Here's how you put it all together:

You will need:
1 whole chicken, chasseur cut
2 Tbl of oil
2 Tbl of butter
1 Tbl of cognac
1 cup of button mushrooms, peeled and quartered
1 cup of roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced
2 Tbl of shallots, diced
1 Tbl of flour
 2 Tbl of tomato paste
½ cup of white wine
1 ½ cup of reduced chicken or veal stock
1 Tbl of garlic, diced
2 tsp of tarragon, fresh, chopped
1 tsp of parsley, fresh, chopped
1 tsp of chervil, fresh, chopped
1 tsp of salt

Step 1: Sauté chicken pieces in oil and butter for 6-8 minutes on each side. When chicken is done, place skin side down and add cognac. Cook till cognac is au sec (almost dry).

Step 2: In a separate pan, melt butter and add mushrooms, tomato and shallots. Cook till shallots are translucent and flavor are incorporated. Remove to serving pan.

Step 3: In pan you used to saute, add the tomato paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook till flour is cooked through.

Step 4: Add wine (and yes, they did use Franzia's Chardonnay), garlic, and stock; cook till sauce is thickened, and well incorporated.

Step 5: Pour sauce over sauteed mushroom mixture. Finish sauce with fresh herbs and salt. Serve chicken atop sauce.

The finished dish? Well, they had to rush to the fair. No time to pose for the camera.

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