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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Chicken Fricassee a warm, rib-sticking meal for cool weather

Posted Saturday,
October 1, 2016
0 ·
Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
Tender chicken falls of the bone in the rich, creamy sauce.
Click here for information about Ellen’s new cookbook, “No Sacrifices — Entertaining Gluten-Free.”
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

During our childhood, it seemed chicken fricassee ranked among my mother’s favorite dishes. She would serve it on gray and chilly days.

It’s easy to make and quite delicious. Unfortunately, I never asked her for the recipe; so I’ve re-created if from memory. And, happily I can say my version tastes every bit as good as when she made it.

While researching this recipe, I was surprised to learn fricassee is a French dish. I had assumed it came from Italy. It also surprised me to find that the many recipes I read called for mushrooms and carrots. My mother never used either. I remember she used lots of onions and celery in hers.

Fricassee is a simple stew, usually with a white sauce. While reading many recipes I learned it was Abraham Lincoln’s favorite dish to serve when entertaining.

The sauce is creamy and rich in flavor and the chicken is so tender it falls off of the bone.

This dish can be made on the stovetop, in a crock pot or in the oven. Here, I choose to braise the chicken in the oven. I believe braising produces more flavor in any dish.

Chicken Fricassee

Serves 6 to 8

A 3- to 5-pound chicken, cut in 8 pieces
1/4 cup butter, unsalted
Gluten-free flour for dusting
1 cup celery, sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Parsley or celery leaves for garnish (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 325° F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and lightly dredge with flour. Melt butter over medium low heat in a Dutch oven. Lightly brown the chicken on all sides in several batches, then move the chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Add the celery and sauté lightly. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven. Add the vermouth and chicken broth then layer the onions on top of the chicken. Season again lightly with salt and pepper, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1-1/2 hours. Just before serving add the cream and check seasoning.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley or celery leaves.
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