Written by an anonymous, epicurious New York Vixen seeking gourmet guys.
Hosting dinner parties is my primary social activity, and probably the most or only grown-up activity I do on a regular basis. There is nothing like an extended, wine-filled evening with friends, dining for as long as you like and playing your music of choice. After speaking with my epicurean friends, I soon found out the importance of having a “go-to,” signature dish—one that is not just a “crowd-pleaser” showcasing your culinary creativity to friends, but that is perfect for serving on a first date to a significant other. My friend, Rich, for example, has a special mussel recipe he likes to refer as the “Panty Dropper.” And so begins the tale of my hallmark recipe, my “Marry Me, FM, Poulet Chasseur.”
Yes, my chicken dish really has three names. Please stay with me as I attempt to explain such a lengthy title. It all started with my two dear aunts, whom I love, and their sudden need to impart the wisdom they gained while dating and working (and drinking) in New York City in their twenties to me now that I’m 24 and living in NYC (although they’ve been giving me their unsolicited advice ever since I hit puberty). The conversation began when I informed them of a recipe I cooked for Charles, my Parisian roommate from college (please note, even though I lived with him, it was much more mother-and-son than more-than-a-friend). Charles randomly picked the dish out of a French cookbook that had been given to me by my Parisian host family and, after translating it “hunting chicken,” he insisted I make it for him one night. One aunt leaned in and informed me that, “Well, yes, I of course have my famous ‘Marry Me’ chicken, too—every woman does. You make it for your boyfriend, and it’s so delicious that he immediately wants to marry you.” A curious look popped on my face, perhaps because I was a junior in college and more concerned with keeping my multiple boyfriends in separate area codes than I was with any of them marrying me. While my other aunt (who, to put it nicely, would rather impress a man by drinking him under the table than cooking anything for him) clearly picked right up on my bewilderment, “Darling,” she whispered to me, “Your recipe is obviously not ‘Marry Me’ chicken, and that’s OK. It’s F**k Me Chicken.”
The most recent boy I made this dish for was always traveling for work, and while visiting him in London, I thought it would be a good idea to cook for him on our last night. During the day, while he was at work, I decided to meet up with my best friend’s mother for lunch in Kensington. Naturally, the topic of our meeting turned to what exactly I was planning on cooking. I got a little uncomfortable, and said, “Well, this chicken recipe I have…” and she immediately laughed and said “I might know which chicken dish!” I nervously changed the subject and prayed that my best friend and cooking confidant had NOT told her mother about my Poulet Chasseur’s dirty street name. Later that day, while navigating the poultry aisle at a grocery on Gloucester Road, I got an incoming text from my best friend’s mother that read, “Hey, how’s the FM chicken coming???!”
Five years later, I am still cooking my dish, the name appears to have stuck despite my efforts to rename it and I am still caring about boys and area codes.
- 5-6 Chicken Breasts (the original French recipe calls for a whole chicken, so you can buy one and cut it up if you want—good luck with that. I like the breasts just as much)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot and 2 cloves garlic (or one small yellow onion, or 3 cloves garlic, original recipe calls for two shallots but I like this shallot & garlic combo best)
- 1 package (8 oz) Crimini (or Baby Bella) mushrooms
- 2/3 cup white wine (sometimes, when I’ve had too much white wine myself I get excited and add LOTS of wine. Bad idea, it makes it too sweet)
- 4 cups chicken broth, heated or at least room temperature
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Tarragon (dried also works, and no you cannot omit this!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
- Add butter and olive oil to a large frying pan or wok on medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add onions, garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms along with some salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook 3 minutes on one side, and then flip and cook 3 minutes on the other side until lightly browned.
- Add white wine, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, flour, and tomato paste and stir in with a wooden spoon until sauce is blended. For thicker sauce, add more flour.
- Cook until chicken is cooked through, another 10-15 minutes, adding the tarragon just in the last few minutes. Do not overcook.
- Serve hot with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or rice to absorb the flavorful sauce.