Todd was wanting a bit of a treat the other day and I had some chicken legs which needed using so I decided to make him a nice chicken fricassee. A fricassee falls somewhere between a saute and a stew, relying on simple ingredients and a single cooking utensil. Fricassee to me spells home sweet home and comfort.
This is a really simple recipe. I like to use bone in, skin on chicken for the most flavour. This time I used a mix of drumsticks and thighs. These are the hardest working parts of the chicken and have the most flavour. They also tend to be a lot tougher than the breast, but a long slow cooking takes care of that beautifully.
That reminds me of the time I cooked rubber chicken. I had not been married for very long and I got what I thought was a real bargain at the shops for whole chicken. We were poor as church mice and I liked to take advantage of every bargain I could get.
This was out in Calgary when we were living there. I think these birds were only about 50 cents or some such. I decided to buy a couple and freeze one for later and use one for something special. I chose to exercise my culinary skills and make chicken cacciatore from my Fanny Farmer cookbook.
I carefully cut it up and followed the recipe exactly . . . what should have been deliciously delectable ended up being as appealing as chewing on rubber bands. I had no idea off what I had done wrong. I was finally informed by someone who knew a lot better that I had bought stewing hens . . . and the only thing that you could do with them was to braise them for hours and hours . . . not the requisite 35 to 40 minutes required by my recipe.
Oh we do learn as we go along in life don't we? I cringe at some of the things that I thought were quite sophisticated way back in the day. I have come a long way baby! (as they say!)
Back to Chicken Fricassee . . . who doesn't love chicken in gravy! Tender delicious pieces of chicken, in a gravy flavoured with sage, parsley, and onions. Chicken flavoured with nutmeg, salt, pepper and paprika. I choose to remove my chicken from the bones once it is cooked because I am not overly fond of having bones in a dish like this, but you can do whatever you want to do with yours. I just find it eats easier with the bones and skin removed. The broth will have taken all the flavour from them anyways, and they aren't really needed.
I also like to mince my onion really fine because I don't like big lumps of onion in my gravy . . . but again, that is me and a texture thing. I also think it look a lot more elegant with a smoother gravy and then just the pieces of chicken and mushrooms . . .
Rice goes beautifully with this. I use brown rice, but that's because it is healthier. If you prefer you can use white rice, or even noodles or potatoes! Altogether this is a beautiful dish that your family is going to love. Rich and delicious. Mmm . . . mmm . . . good!
- 1 1/2 pound chicken pieces (I like thighs and drumsticks, bone in)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 1/2 TBS plain flour
- 240ml water (1 cup)
- 120ml white wine (1/2 cup)
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 60g small mushrooms, sliced (1 cup)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 60ml whole milk (1/4 cup)
- 60ml cream (1/4 cup)