Chicken Fricassee Recipe

Chicken Fricassee Recipe

History of Chicken Fricassee:
Chicken fricassee is a classic French dish that originated in the 15th century. The term "fricassee" refers to a method of cooking meat, typically chicken or veal, by first browning it and then slowly braising it in liquid. Fricassees were popular among the French nobility and quickly spread throughout Europe, becoming a staple in many cuisines.

Fun Facts about Chicken Fricassee:
1. The term "fricassee" comes from the French word "frire," which means to fry or sauté, and "casser," which means to break or cut into pieces.
2. In the past, chicken fricassee was often considered a luxurious dish as it was made with expensive ingredients such as white meat and aromatic vegetables.
3. Chicken fricassee was a favorite dish of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who introduced it to America.
4. Fricassees were traditionally cooked in a pot called a "cocotte," which had a tight-fitting lid to ensure the flavors and moisture were retained during cooking.
5. The addition of herbs and spices, such as ginger and pepper, enhances the flavors of the chicken and adds depth to the dish.

Now, let's dive into the recipe for Chicken Fricassee:

- 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (wings, legs, neck, breast, back)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 parsley root, chopped (optional)
- 1 celery stalk, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon flour
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Water, as needed

1. Begin by preparing the chicken. Cut off the wings, legs, and neck. Separate the breast from the chicken, leaving it whole. Cut the back into two pieces.
2. In a small saucer, mix together the salt, ginger, and pepper. Dust each piece of chicken with this mixture, ensuring all pieces are evenly coated.
3. In a large kettle, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the particles of fat you removed from the chicken and let them render down. This will add flavor to the dish.
4. Add the chopped onion, parsley root, and celery to the kettle and sauté until they become fragrant and slightly softened.
5. Carefully place the chicken pieces into the kettle, starting with the breast, followed by the legs and other pieces. Make sure all the chicken fits comfortably in the kettle.
6. Cover the kettle tightly and let it stew slowly on the back of the stove or over a low gas flame. If necessary, add hot water to keep the chicken moist and prevent it from drying out.
7. Allow the chicken to cook for about 1-1.5 hours or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. Stir occasionally and adjust the seasoning if needed.
8. Just before serving, chop up some fresh parsley and set it aside for garnish. In a small bowl, mix the flour with a little cold water until smooth. Stir this mixture into the cooking liquid to thicken the sauce.
9. Let the sauce come to a boil, stirring gently to prevent lumps from forming. Shake the kettle back and forth to ensure the sauce is well incorporated with the chicken.
10. Once the sauce has thickened, remove the kettle from the heat. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the chicken for a fresh and vibrant garnish.
11. Serve the chicken fricassee hot with rice, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Variations and Similar Dishes:
1. Duck Fricassee: Follow the same recipe but replace the chicken with duck pieces. Duck fricassee has a rich and intense flavor that pairs well with fruity sauces like orange or cherry.
2. Vegetable Fricassee: For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and use a variety of vegetables such as mushrooms, carrots, peas, and potatoes. Cook them in the same manner as the chicken fricassee for a hearty and flavorful dish.
3. Coq au Vin: This is another famous French chicken dish that involves braising chicken in red wine along with herbs, onions, mushrooms, and bacon. It has similar flavors to chicken fricassee but with the added richness of red wine.
4. Chicken Stew: If you prefer a stew-like dish, you can add more liquid (chicken broth or white wine) to the chicken fricassee recipe. This will give you a comforting and hearty chicken stew with a thick and flavorful sauce.

Enjoy your homemade Chicken Fricassee, a timeless dish with a rich history and delicious flavors!



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