Beaujolais: A Versatile Partner for Hunter’s Chicken #winophiles

Beaujolais Flows Freely
After spending two weeks in various areas in France, I was impressed by the dedication to local wines. During a week in Lyon we found that Beaujolais was the typical “house” red wine, with Macon being the normal source of a local white. Beaujolais pairs beautifully with charcuterie, cooked sausages, braised meats, roast chicken, and even fish.  It’s an excellent choice for gastronomic fare and also traditional “bouchon” cooking. How’s that for versatile?

Translucent red of Beaujolais wine

Beautiful Beaujolais!

As red wines go, Beaujolais is typically:

  • lighter in body, emphasizing bright fruit,
  • possessing excellent acidity (translation: food friendly),
  • with low tannins (less of that astringent sensation in your mouth)
  • without obvious oak influence
  • chillable, so makes for a great summer red (less useful now, but remember this next summer!)
Chateau Buffavent Beaujolais

Chateau Buffavent Beaujolais

We were introduced to Chateau Buffavent during a visit organized by our cousins in Lyon. Thanks to Roland and Kay!

Chateau Buffavent Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes 2014 (7.5 € at the winery)
Eye: Clear, pale ruby with a purple edge.
Nose: medium intensity. Fresh blackberries, blackcurrants. Bright fruit dominates. Nice, freshly cut herbs behind.
Mouth: Bright, mouthwatering acidity, low tannins. Fresh blackberry fruit with nice medium length finish. Delicious and gulpable.

Beaujolais Blanc
Other grapes are allowed in Beaujolais.  Gamay (red) is by far the largest planting, but they grow some nice Chardonnay for the occasional Beaujolais Blanc.

Much smaller production than the Rouge, Beaujolais Blanc is also very nice. Chardonnay grape

Much smaller production than the Rouge, Beaujolais Blanc is also very nice. Chardonnay grape

Chateau Buffavent Beaujolais Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2013 (7.5 € at the winery)
Eye: clear, medium gold
Nose: Medium+ intensity. Clean, sweet fruit, lemon pie filling, mild nutty oak and cooking spices. Oak was more obvious on day 1. Day 2, much less obvious.
Mouth: medium+ body. medium acidity. Nice rich, creamy mouthfeel backed up with nice medium+ acidity but not tart. Medium finish, very nice.

Chicken Sauté Chasseur

Chicken Sauté Chasseur – Hunter’s Chicken

Hunter’s Chicken
In Lyon, we had lots of adventurous foods: snails, raw oysters, sausages made with unnamed animal parts, head cheese, veal tripe. I love those adventurous foods, but they don’t always play well at home! Today we’re enjoying a simple fall chicken stew, with plenty of vegetables and mushrooms. A perfect foil for Beaujolais – blanc and rouge!

Poulet Saute Chasseur

Poulet Saute Chasseur

Poulet Sauté Chasseur and Beaujolais

The dish paired well with both wines, it boils down to personal preference: white or red? The earthy flavors lent by the mushrooms, carrots, leeks and shallots paired with the undertones in the rouge, while the lighter body of the wine matched well with the lean chicken. The blanc was refreshing and kept interest in the next bite. Day 1, the oak was present but not overpowering, I thought it would have been an even better match on day 2!

Poulet Sauté Chasseur or Hunter's Chicken

Sounds fancy, but this is comfort food through and through. A nice fall themed chicken stew.

Ingredients

  • 1 fryer/roaster chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 10 oz. cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, with outer layer peeled off in 1 piece, remainder sliced thinly.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 oz. white wine
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 6-8 fingerling potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • To save time, you can buy a whole chicken cut up, or a combination of breast, legs and thighs.  I remove the skin before cooking, your choice.
  • Prepare the bouquet garni by placing the bay leaf, half the thyme sprigs (whole), half the parsley (whole) inside the leek. Fold the leek in half and tie with kitchen twine.
  • De-stem the remaining thyme leaves and parsley chop. Reserve the herbs in a bowl.
  • Peel the tomatoes by dropping them into a pot of boiling water for 15 seconds, then putting them in a bowl of icewater. They almost peel themselves!
  • Slice the tomatoes in half, remove excess seeds and liquid from tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the flower and brown them in EVOO in several batches in a medium skillet.
  • Add the shallots and sauté them just until translucent, then add the mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes.
  • Add the white wine to the shallot & mushroom mixture to deglaze the pan.
  • Empty the skillet into a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add the chicken, tomatoes, bouquet garni, and fingerling potatoes to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  • Serve in bowls and top each serving with freshly chopped herbs.
  • Serve with your choice of Beaujolais or Beaujolais Blanc!

beaujolais_chicken_winophiles-20161113-86

Comments
18 Responses to “Beaujolais: A Versatile Partner for Hunter’s Chicken #winophiles”
  1. Looks like a great pairing Jeff! I’m definitely a fan of Beaujolais (though not so much the Nouveau). I enjoyed a Beaujolais Blanc a couple of years ago for Chardonnay Day that was lovely. A Beaujolais Rose is still on my list! Cheers!

  2. Jealous. I need to get my French travel on! Love the pairing, especially over sausages made with unnamed meats.

  3. I want to try that Hunter’s Chicken! It looks so delicious!

  4. Wendy Klik says:

    This recipe sounds wonderful and I can see how it would pair well with both the red and the white.

  5. Jill Barth says:

    You got a Blanc! I’m glad one made it into the Winophiles collection. This looks marvelous. I think we need a special “Jeff’s Trip” edition of Winophiles!

  6. I have a trip planned to Lyon. Looking forward to the plentiful supply of Beaujolais, Mâcon whites and, now, to chicken chasseur too!

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Jeff  of FoodWineClick!  thinks Beaujolais is so nice, he posted twice!  A Fall Day in Beaujolais and Beaujolais: A Versatile Partner for Hunter’s Chicken. […]

  2. […] Jeff from FoodWineClick! shares A Fall Day in Beaujolais and Beaujolais: A Versatile Partner for Hunter’s Chicken […]

  3. […] I will post links ASAP. In the meantime, visit Jeff– he’s got them all! […]

  4. […] Prototypical post: tinyurl.com/jbjz7jq, pairing hunter’s chicken and Beaujolais. […]

  5. […] post: tinyurl.com/jbjz7jq, pairing hunter’s chicken and […]



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