Fricassée

Some might be prompted to ask, “Fricassée of what?” but to add anything to fricassée would be redundant since, as the authoritative Larousse Gastronomique puts it, “In modern French usage, the word fricassée applies almost exclusively to a method of preparing poultry in a white sauce.” [Larousse Gastronomique, (New York: Crown Publishers, 1961), 430-431]. Most commonly in the United States it is a stew of leftover poultry with vegetables and gravy. Technically a white sauce contains milk or cream but I find that to be gilding the lily, so to speak. The easiest approach is to figure out how much leftover chicken, or turkey, you have and scale the recipe accordingly. The quantities listed below make a generous pot full that should feed at least four.

Ingredients

 

Schmaltz, olive oil, or a combination

2 tablespoons

30 ml

Onion, diced

8 ounces

250 grams

Carrot, diced

6 ounces

175 grams

Celery, diced

4 ounces

125 grams

Flour

2 tablespoons

30 ml

Chicken broth or stock

2 – 3 cups

500 – 750 ml

Tarragon leaves, dried

½ teaspoon

2½ ml

Thyme leaves, dried

1 teaspoon

5 ml

Parsley leaves, dried

1 tablespoon

15 ml

Potatoes, medium dice

12 ounces

350 grams

Peas

4 ounces

125 grams

Cooked chicken in bite-sized pieces

1 pound

500 grams

Salt and pepper

to taste

to taste

Method

Put the schmaltz or oil into a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions, carrots, and celery for about 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes then add stock a bit at a time stirring until each addition comes to a boil. Continue to add stock until the gravy has a nice consistency. Stir in the herbs then add the potatoes, peas, and chicken. Add more stock if needed to just cover everything. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Check to see that the potatoes are done. If the gravy is too thin, uncover, turn the heat up to medium for a few minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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