My first encounter with Hunter’s chicken was at Cactus Club Café in Vancouver British Columbia. For the readers not in Vancouver, Cactus Club Café is a casual dining restaurant chain that originated in North Vancouver. The Hunter’s chicken dish was created by Vancouver’s very own Iron Chef – Rob Feenie.
Feenie is a Canadian chef based in Vancouver. He garnered critical and public success as a chef, as well he was a challenger to Masaharu Morimoto in the first Season of Iron Chef America in 2005. He beat Morimoto in the Crab themed episode with a final score of 45-39. So with that in mind, you can imagine his level of skill in the kitchen.
Feenie’s Hunter’s Chicken includes shiitake, portabello, button, and cremini mushrooms cooked in a demi-glace sauce and then drizzled on grilled chicken, green beans, and Yukon gold potatoes. I loved the dish and decided to attempt to replicate it at home.
The dish is believed to be developed in Italy. It is originally called “Cacciatore” which means “hunter” in Italian. In this recipe you will see many similarities to Coq Au Vin, which is a French Chicken Stew dish. Below is my version of Hunter’s chicken. The result was delicious! I was quite satisfied with how my first attempt turned out. So here it is. Enjoy!
So what you will need is:
2 Pieces Dried Porcini Mushrooms
2 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
1lb Chicken Parts (I used two backless chicken legs)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 tablespoon Grapeseed oil
1 Onion, finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoon Brandy
100ml Demi-Glace (recipe found here or make the Knorr Packaged version)
100 grams Cremini mushrooms (thinly sliced)
10 fresh Sage leaves
3 twigs Rosemary
In the morning or night before, you will want to prepare the mushrooms: First rinse the dried shiitake mushrooms and porcini mushrooms. Dried mushrooms are perfect for this dish as it packs a lot of mushroom flavour. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, and fill the bowl with 200 ml of water. Rehydrate the porcini and shiitake mushrooms in water for about 6 hours or so. Make sure to reserve this water, as it will have a earthy mushroom flavour that you will add to the sauce.
An hour before your meal you can start cooking: Season the chicken parts with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
In a cast-iron pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the grapeseed oil.
Then add the chicken to the pot and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over (about 7 minutes).
Transfer to a plate.
Add the diced onion, and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the rehydrated shiitakes and porcini slices.
Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Next, add the brandy, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any of the fond. Next, add the demi-glace sauce and rehydrated mushroom water, stir and bring to a boil, before reducing it to low for a simmer.
Nestle the chicken in the sauce, add the herbs, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until nearly cooked, about 25 minutes.
Stir in the cremini mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for about 12 minutes.
Discard the rosemary sprigs and sage leaves. Transfer the stew to plates, garnish with a rosemary twig and serve. I served the chicken with pan roasted wedge potatoes and pan roasted brussel sprouts.
Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed this recipe. I’d like to see how they turned out! “#sweetrehabkitchen“. If you have any suggestions of what you’d like to see me make next, let me know in the comments below!