Friday, April 17, 2020

Chicken Chasseur + Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2016 #Winophiles

This month the French Winophiles are exploring the Northern Rhône with Rupal, the Syrah Queen, at the lead. You can read her invitation: here

Before I get to my post, here are the others' offerings on the topic of Northern Rhône. These will all go live between Friday, April 17th and early morning Saturday, April 18th. And if you are reading this early enough, feel free to join us for a live Twitter chat. You can find us with hashtag #Winophiles; if you chime in, be sure to use the hashtag as well, so that we can see your tweet.

In the Glass

As we've just finished the fourth full week of our shelter-in-place order here in California, I have been buying my wine online, when possible. I was able to find this bottle - Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2016 - at It was delivered right to my doorstep. Gotta love that convenience.

At a suggested retail price of $30, it might be on the pricier side for a regular middle of the week pairing, but these are not regular days, are they?

map from

Crozes-Hermitage is the southern gateway into the Northern Rhône Valley as you can see from the map above. I was able to get my hands on a bottle of Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2016 for this pairing.

Domaine Guigal first produced a Crozes-Hermitage in 1999 from a low-yielding, hillside vineyard. Since then they have continued to acquire quality vineyards, exclusively on hillsides, grouped in the north of the appellation.

This is a single varietal - 100% Syrah - and was fermented in stainless steel before being aged for two years in barrels from Guigal’s Chateau d’Ampuis cooperage.

To the eye, the wine pours a dark, ruddy color while the nose has a pleasant balance of red fruit and hints of earthy wood. On the palate, the wine is surprisingly fresh with nicely structured tannins. The woodiness is mirrored on the tongue with balancing hints of vanilla and berries.

On the Plate
The earthiness in the wine made me think of mushrooms, so I opted to make my version of Chicken Chasseur, a classic French chicken dish that translates to 'Hunter's Chicken.' I have heard it's so named because hunters would pick up mushrooms along the way as they brought home their catches.

I like that this is a rustic, one pot dinner. I just have to give fair warning and a way that my mushroom-averse child can avoid them easily. I do insist that he takes at least one bite with a mushroom; I know they'll grow on him eventually. He claims that he hasn't liked mushrooms since I took him to a local mushroom farm. Even just talking about mushrooms he gags. How is he my child?!?

Also, I didn't have any Cognac or Brandy so I went the less-than-traditional route of using White Port.

Ingredients serves 4
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 T butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean and thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 C White Port
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1 T flour, as needed
  • fresh herbs (I used a combination of fresh thyme and fresh parsley)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Melt 1 T butter in the bottom of a heavy skillet. Place chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. The skin should be browned and crispy. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Leave the chicken fat in the pan and stir in the onions. Let them sweat a few minutes until they are softened and beginning to turn translucent.

Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Stir in the mushrooms and sprinkle in some herbs.

Nestle the chicken thighs, this time skin-side up, into the mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. The sauce should be thickened and reduced. If it's too liquidy, whisk in some flour and stir till the sauce thickens.

To finish, pour in the White Port. You can tip the pan so the liquid moves to the edge of the skillet and you can light the port with the stove flame. Or use a stick lighter to ignite the port. Let the alcohol burn itself out. Once the flames extinguish, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle more herbs over the pan and serve it family style.

That's all for the French Winophiles' April 2020 event. We'll be back next month with a focus on Cru Beaujolais with Cindy of Grape Experiences leading the discussion. Stay tuned.


  1. A (literally) mouth-watering food and wine pairing Cam! Hard to go wrong with Guigal!

  2. I have been craving chicken thighs of late. We made Adobo yesterday and I have more to build a cassoulet. I'm tucking this recipe away to use, because it looks delicious.
    I also had a Crozes-Hermitage, mine from J.L. Chave, which I found delicious.

  3. Comfort food, for sure! I make chicken thighs pretty regularly and my routine could use a shake-up. Will try your recipe next time.

  4. I also purchased this Guigal Crozes-Hermitage from Very convenient! A rustic chicken and mushroom dish sounds perfect for this wine.

  5. I love chicken chasseur and it has been ages since I've had it. Thanks for the reminder! I'm sure it was an excellent pairing!

  6. Mushrooms are a perfect match for this earthy wine. I had mushrooms on my pizza and thought the pairing was wonderful.

  7. Great minds think alike. The mushrooms were a perfect pairing with my wine and I bet yours would go well with mine, too.

  8. Your Guigal Syrah with chicken chasseur looks and sounds like perfect comfort food for these times of sheltering in place.