Because Sauce Chasseur is most often used for chicken sautés, it is best prepared in the pan used to brown the chicken so the caramelized juices from the chicken contribute their flavor to the sauce.
Because sauce chasseur is used almost exclusively for chicken, it should expand the flavors of the chicken and bring them into focus. For this reason, it is better to use brown chicken stock demi-glace rather than demi-glace or glace de viande based on other meats.
Practically any variety of edible wild mushroom can replace the cultivated mushrooms, and olive oil or goose fat can replace the butter used for sautéing the sliced mushrooms. As the mushrooms are sautéed, they can be sprinkled with fresh chopped thyme, chopped hyssop leaves, marjoram, lavender, or winter savory; eliminate the tarragon and chervil added at the end. A white wine with a distinct character, such as Sauternes, or one with a lightly madeirized character, such as Madeira or sherry, can be used to give the sauce individuality and distinction. The Cognac can be replaced with marc, grappa, Armagnac, or a local brandy (if making the sauce in California, a good pot-distilled brandy will give the sauce a bit of regional character). The herbs used at the end can be replaced—the tarragon and chervil should be replaced if any of the strong Provençal herbs mentioned above are used—if the flavors clash. If a special brandy or wine is used in the sauce, herbs should be chosen and used carefully, so the nuances imparted by the wine or brandy are not lost. It would be best to finish the sauce with fines herbes without tarragon, or with any of the three individual herbs (chives, parsley, chervil).
Infuse the various components (herbs, mushrooms, etc.) in a clear broth or consommé and allow the broth to set in a thin layer in chilled soup plates. Arrange cold chicken on top and garnish with the mushrooms; if you have broth remaining, chop it and use it to decorate the plate. You can also coat the chicken with the clear broth.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.