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Dining Tip: Hugh Acheson's Hunter's Chicken

A southern chef's take on a classic dish

Posted: August 5, 2013

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the June 15, 2013 issue of Wine Spectator.

• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
• 4 shiitakes, stemmed and finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon Urfa chile flakes
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 3-pound chicken, and liver
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus a pinch
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly shaved
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 cup of the wine you'll be serving
• 2 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Bring 2 tablespoons of butter to room temperature in a small bowl. Add the remaining teaspoon of butter to a pan on medium heat. When the butter has melted and foamed, add the shiitakes and cook for 3 minutes, until limp. Add the warm shiitakes, chile flakes, soy sauce and pepper to the butter in the bowl. Chop the chicken liver finely and add to the butter. (It will cook when you add it to the final dish.) Stir the butter, then chill.

2. Cut out the chicken's backbone. Cut off the thighs, then cut the drumsticks from the thighs. Remove wings and save for another day. Cut through the breastbone to divide the breast into 2 lobes, then halve each lobe. Season the 8 pieces of chicken with salt.

3. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the thighs and the drumsticks, skin side down. Cook them for 5 minutes without moving the pan and then add the breast pieces, skin side down. Cook for 10 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the fat has all been rendered off.

4. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the shallots, garlic and bay leaf. Sweat for 5 minutes, then add the wine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stock. Cook for 5 minutes, then season with a pinch of salt. Add the chicken, skin side up this time, and cook for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Cut the compound butter into 4 pieces. Remove the chicken from the sauce and whisk in pieces of butter over medium heat. Finish with the chopped parsley. Serve the chicken over rice, then spoon sauce over the top. Serves 4.


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