Fricassee is best described as halfway between a sauté and a stew in that a sauté has no liquid added, while a stew includes liquid from the beginning. In a fricassee, cut-up meat is first sautéed (but not browned), then liquid is added and it is simmered to finish cooking. It is French in origin, and tell me a French dish that doesn’t impress? And tell me what is not to love about a one-pot-meal. It makes clean up a breeze and I’m all about that right now!
The combination of hearty chunky vegetables, succulent chicken thighs and a rich in flavour, yet light sauce is decadent. The lemon and herb components add a depth of flavour that is tangy and simply delicious. This meal also freezes well which is handy because I put the extras away for when baby arrives along with a great haul of other fabulous meals which I will detail in another post shortly.
If there are alternative vegetables you would like to add to this dish once you are familiar with the process, feel free. Although not the traditional combination, adding green beans or peas and omitting the mushrooms would certainly result in an equally as scrumptious meal.
- 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 2 T butter
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2-3 sticks of celery, washed and diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 C mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 C plain flour
- 3 C chicken stock (I used 3 cups water and 3 Massell chicken stock cubes)
- 3/4 C white wine ( I omitted on this occasion)
- 3/4 T dried parsley
- 1 T dried tarragon
- 1/2 t dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 C cream
- juice of 1 large lemon
- Dried wide egg noodles, cooked and drained or mashed potatoes or any pasta of your choice.
- In a large heavy bottomed pot (I use my Le Creuset) melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat until foamy. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs or breasts and place in pan. Gently brown on each side of the chicken thighs.
- Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.
- Add all the vegetables, and sauté until onions and celery are translucent and soft. Add the flour and stir, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for several minutes while scraping gently.
- Add the chicken stock (and wine if using), and stir so that the floured mixture begins to thicken like a gravy. Add all the herbs and combine gently.
- Return the chicken back into the mixture and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits from sticking on the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper if required.
- In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the egg yolks with the cream. Temper the mixture by adding a spoonful or two of gravy mixture into the egg/cream mixture and stir. Slowly pour the tempered cream mixture into the pan, and stir while it simmers for another 5 minutes. .
- Add lemon juice and combine thoroughly.
- Serve over cooked noodles, pasta or mashed potatoes.