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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fricassee Of Chicken With Mushrooms

This is another example of truly classic cuisine that needs to be mastered in order to have a good understanding of cuisine bourgeoise from France. It is at once simple and very complex. You could find this dish in France in the sixties from the corner bistro to the fanciest hotel and restaurant and every French homemaker knew how to make it for dinner. The differences of course were in technique and ingredients.
At best this dish is a sublime mix of wine, chicken, cream and at worst a chicken stewed in cream sauce with mushrooms.
You will find many recipes for this on the internet and they are all good. The basic method is to simmer chicken breasts and legs in a mix of oil and butter without coloring them. Mixing a little oil with butter prevents the butter from burning. The chicken is simmered for a good five to ten minutes and then you throw in a handful of chopped shallots and simmer them along with the chicken. You can add a bay leaf at this time. You then add some dry white wine to the mix and let that cook for a few minutes. Then you take the chicken out and reduce the wine completely. You should get a very intense flavor and bouquet from the reduction.
You then add the chicken back to the pot and add a little flour and mix that in really well. You then add a little more white wine and cover the whole thing with chicken stock. The flour will thicken and start the sauce. At this point add a little thyme and a few unpeeled garlic cloves as well as salt and pepper. Let that simmer until the chicken is cooked then remove the chicken and let the sauce continue to reduce and intensify. Then add some fresh cream and reduce to a sauce like consistency.
Stain the sauce over the chicken and correct the seasoning.
While the chicken was cooking you will have cut a few large mushrooms in half and cooked the in a little white wine and a knob of butter. Add these to your fricassee, let it sit for a good half hour and serve with rice or pasta. You can also add pearl onions to this dish and this dish can also me made with veal and , at a stretch, pork.


Brian said...

Love the thumbnails in the presentation, gorgeous.

Keith said...

That looks great. I've never had that before.