Chicken Fricassee

October 5, 2010

I tried out Chris Kimball’s brand new (November 2010) recipe for Quick Chicken Fricassee. Traditionally, Chicken Fricassee is French poached chicken but can be quite time consuming. Here it is ready in 1 hour; made in a skillet rather than a dutch oven. It uses chicken broth rather than waiting for it to flavor it’s own juices. This version is served in a mushroom-cream sauce.

Rich and delicious and ready in just 1 hour.

Rating: 4-1/2-star. Great rich and balanced flavor. My 9-year-old son said that it was reminiscent of Beef Strogonoff that I made in February. Checking back, he was exactly right; both are made of sauteed mushrooms and onions in a source cream sauce, with a splash of lemon juice (I’m amazed at his culinary memory).

Issues:

  1. The recipe yields 2 cups of sauce, but really only 1 cup is needed for the 2 pounds of chicken.  The biggest impact is that I had to buy a full pound of Cremini Mushrooms (my local supermarket no longer sells them loose, only prepackaged in 10-ounce packages).  I wouldn’t mind if I ate the full $5.40 worth of mushrooms, but the recipe could be re-proportioned to only use 10-ounces and there would still be plenty of sauce.
  2. Because I didn’t have ground nutmeg, I substituted 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Nutmeg would have been a little smoother, but the flavor was still great with the substitution.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: $11.  (It could be less; $5 was for mushrooms).
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Started: 5:30 PM.  Dinnertime:  6:30 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 medium garlic clove
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon (or praslet)

  1. Use paper towels to dry chicken pieces. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.
  2. Place a 12″skillet over medium-high burner and heat 1 tablespoon butter and oil. After the foaming has subsided, add chicken to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes; until browned.
  3. Flip and cook the second side for 4 more minutes; until browned. Remove chicken to a large plate.
  4. Meanwhile, Trim the mushroom stems and wipe the caps clean. Slice into 1/4″ slices. Chop onion fine, which should yield about 1 cup.
  5. Add mushroom slices, minced onion, and wine to the skillet. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms have browned. Add flour and press garlic directly into pan. Saute for 1 minute.
  6. Add chicken broth and bring up to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the fond.
  7. Add back the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Reduce burner to medium-low, and gently simmer, covered, for until 5 to 10 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 160-degrees for breasts and 175-degrees for thighs.
  8. Remove chicken to a clean serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil.
  9. Meanwhile in medium bowl, wisk together sour cream and egg yolk together. Slowly stir in 1/2-cup of sauce into sour cream mixture; stirring constantly. Then slowly add sour cream mixture into simmering skillet. Add nutmeg, lemon juice, and tarragon, and bring back up to a simmer.
  10. Season according to taste with salt and pepper. Top the chicken with some sauce and serve with remainig sauce on the side.

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