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Entries in chicken (1)


Fricasse'e de Poulet/Old Fashioned Chicken Fricasse'e

In the past fifteen years due to the presence of the internet and the fact that I've moved twice, I've pared my cookbook collection from over one hundred volumes to about fifteen.  Of those fifteen volumes, I actually ever use two.  One is a 1969 copy of The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook with its stained up quaint looking red gingham cover and collection of comfort foods whose ingredients call for modern day No No ingredients such as real butter and whole milk and sour cream and the criminal of all, heavy cream.  The other cookbook is The Cook's Encyclopedia of French Cooking by Carole Clements and Elizabeth Wolfe - Cohen.  In spite of it's hefty title, it's a slim volume of everyday French recipes using everyday fresh ingredients.  It's my cooking Bible.  From it, I've learned to understand the conceptual framework of what makes superior food...fresh ingredients, quality meats, quality herbs and spices, a process that becomes a lifelong blueprint. And, the simple premise that if one does that, the taste of those things sings to the palate.  One is satisfied and sated with smaller quantity of food, smaller portions suffice and the French eat everything yet stay thin.  Truly this works, this simple concept of less is more.  This recipe is from my French Bible.
Fricasse'e de Poulet/Old Fashioned Chicken Fricassee
Serves 4 - 6
2.5 - 3 lbs. chicken pieces
4 T butter (1/2 stick)
2 T vegetable oil
4T flour
1.5 C dry white wine
3 C chicken stock
bouquet garni or herbes de provence or use a mixture of fresh or dried tarragon, basil, oregano, bay leaf and marjoram
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 pkg button m
Mushrooms either white or my favorite Baby Bellas
1 large onion cut into wedges
1/2 C water
2 tsp sugar
1/2 C heavy cream
salt and pepper
Wash and dry chicken.  Melt half the butter with the oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole or cast iron pot over medium heat.  Add half the chicken pieces cook, turning once, 10 minutes until golden.  Transfer to plate.  Cook the rest of pieces.
Return chicken to pan.  Sprinkle with flour, turning pieces to coat.  Cook over low heat for about four minutes, turning occasionally.
Pour in the wine; add the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Push chicken pieces to one side and scrape bottom of pan, stirring until well blended.
Bring the liquid to a boil, add herbs/spices and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is tender and juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with a knife. 
Meanwhile, in frying pan melt remaining butter over medium heat, add mushrooms and lemon juice and cook 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are golden. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl, add onions. water and sugar to pan, swirling to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes until just tender.  Pour the onions and any cooking juices into the bowl with the mushrooms.
After chicken is cooked, remove it to a deep serving dish and cover with foil.  Add onions, mushrooms to chicken. Add any cooking juice from cooking the vegetables to the pan used to cook chicken.   Bring to a boil. and boil, stirring constantly until the sauce is reduced by half. 
Whisk cream into sauce and cook for two minutes   Add mushrooms and onions, cook 2 minutes more. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.