Think of chicken fricassee as a chicken pot pie without the pie. It’s a treasured dish, here and in Germany where it is called chicken fricassee (Hühnerfrikassee).
In this country, it is more of a home-cooked everyday meal, while in Germany its can be a fancy dish. In the 1960s, it was often served at weddings in a Vol-au-Vent (a small hollow case of puff pastry). It was part of my wedding dinner when I got married decades ago in Germany. But more often, chicken fricassee is served with rice, mashed potatoes or noodles. I had it with homemade Spätzle. The vegetables in this dish can vary; when in season asparagus is often added. Peas, carrots and mushroom are called for in most recipes. In the old days, canned white asparagus and canned mushrooms were added .
I have always enjoyed cooking this dish; it is the essence of comfort food. A few weeks ago, I was the personal chef of a friend of mine who was caring for her father during his last days. I made a big batch using two whole chickens, fresh asparagus, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and peas. I have made much smaller portions using chicken legs or breasts. The dish freezes well. I froze a portion for my husband to have when I go to Germany this spring.
I have prepared this dish many times. And I have to say, the secret is in the sauce. I boil the chicken with veggies to make a homemade broth. Usually, I do this a day before. When I was cooking the dish for my friends, I prepared a large casserole and put a sheet of puff pastry on the top. Then I baked it in the oven following the instructions on the puff pastry package. I have also made it with a homemade cream cheese crust in individual serving dishes. If you use a crust, make sure you have plenty of sauce because the dish tends to dry out while baking. That happened to me.
Recipe for Chicken Fricassee
This recipe will make 8-10 portions.
For the chicken broth:
2 small whole chickens
2-3 celery stalks (with leaves)
1 onion (with peel)
1 leek (or clean dark leek leaves)
A handful of parsley
1-2 tsp of salt
1tsp garlic salt
1-2 tsp pepper
8 ounces carrots (6 small ones)
6-7 ounces mushrooms
2 lb. green asparagus
4 TBs capers
3 TBs butter
3 TBs flour
4 or more cups chicken broth
1 or more cups of milk
½ cup cream or half and half
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 tsp. capers
1-2 TBs fresh lemon juice
Cooking the Chicken
Place the chicken pieces or whole chicken in a large pot and add the vegetables. Cover everything with cold water. Bring it to a boil, and skim off the white foam from the top. Reduce the heat and simmer in the covered pot until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Cook the chicken breast less until the meat thermometer reads 165° degrees. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and cool. Discard the skin and bones. Cut or pull the meat into 1-inch pieces. Strain the chicken broth and put the cooled broth in the refrigerator.
Preparing the vegetables
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and blanch the carrots for about two minutes until they are al dente. Do the same with the asparagus. You have the choice of blanching the mushrooms or sautéing them in a mixture of butter and olive oil over a medium heat. I have done both and honestly I can’t tell the difference.
The sauce and assembling the fricassee
Melt butter in a large sauce pan, add the flour and whisk for two minutes. Make sure you don’t brown the roux. Gradually add in the chicken broth, one cup at a time. Before you add another cup, whisk the mixture until totally smooth for a creamy sauce. Add milk, Worcestershire sauce, capers, and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add cream or half and half, salt, pepper, freshly ground nutmeg and lemon juice. Add the chicken and bring it all to a simmer, then add the carrots, mushrooms, and asparagus . Season and serve.
If you want to add a crust, put the fricassee in a buttered oven-proof dish, cover the top with the puff pastry, and follow the instructions on the package. Cut some slits in the pastry and bake the dish until golden brown.
I would like to share with you some blog posts from prior Easter celebration in Germany. There are so many traditions and good recipes. Click on the photo for the link.
Happy Easter 2022
from the Sunnycovechef
These delicious enchiladas will feed a crowd. They can be made ahead of time, and then baked just before serving. They are perfect for a family gathering or a potluck. I decided to make them for my book club and for my son, who was visiting. I thought I could share some of them with my neighbors, but we ate them all. If any survive, leftover enchiladas are real treat warmed up in the microwave.
I got carried away and cooked two chickens to make a homemade chicken broth. I separated the breast from the chicken (bone in). I added two sad looking leeks, a peeled and cut celeriac root, one carrot, two bay leaves, one head of garlic (halved), an onion, some shiitake mushrooms, and some parsley sprigs in a large pot. I added the chicken parts and enough water to cover the mess. I let it boil for 1 ½ hours, removing the the chicken breasts after 20 minutes. I ended up with a flavorful broth that I seasoned with salt and pepper. I made the broth a day before I made the enchiladas.
Now, there are many alternatives for the cooked chicken. The easiest would be a rotisserie chicken you get in the store. Or you can roast or boil your favorite chicken parts. I have to say that my cubed chicken breast was succulent and flavorful. These enchiladas were full of flavor and creamy—the perfect comfort food.
I am still working on improving my blog , it is not easy and very time consuming. I’m also starting to travel and volunteering again. Life is very full for me and I find the need to rest more than usual. I do enjoy blogging and testing recipes. The kitchen is my place to be creative—and very messy. And my husband always cleans it up. I am so happy to have him as my partner.
The Recipe for Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
You will need one large or two smaller baking pans. I made 15 enchiladas which will serve 6-8 people.
Here are some of my other recipes you may like. Click on the photo to get the recipe.
These rolls can be filled with any ingredients you choose. I often use hummus instead of a cream cheese spread—or I make them with egg salad—or cheese with salami or ham. Roasted peppers, grated carrots, and chopped olives go well with hummus—and mayonnaise (or any other spread) will keep the rolls together. My friends have requested these rolls for years and they are easy to transport. They always make a satisfying and filling appetizer.
These rolls are not difficult and you can do them in no time. The rolling part is a little tricky but since they are being cut into slices a little goof up is fine. The trick is to roll them tightly making sure you incorporate the ingredients by pushing them into the bread as you roll it.
Years ago I used to be able to buy Armenian cracker bread at a local delicatessen. This bread is like a giant cracker. It is no longer available and I now use lavash bread which I buy at Trader Joe's. You can also find them at Whole Foods. There are six rectangular pieces to a package and it comes in a whole wheat version that I prefer. For this blog I used two rolls which makes about twenty 1/2 inch thick sandwiches. Spread the cream cheese evenly in a thin layer on the light side of the lavish bread. Put about four ounces of lox on top of the cheese spread. Add one half of an avocado thinly sliced over the salmon, add about 1/2 a cup of thinly sliced cucumbers and 1/4 a cup of thinly sliced red onions. Leaving 1/2 inch on the longer side of the bread with only the spread will make it easier to roll. Season with salt and pepper. Top with about 1 cup of lettuce and press everything down. Begin rolling the bread at the longer side (think sushi). Push the ingredients into the bread as you roll it. Wrap the roll in Saran wrap and store in the fridge for several hours. When ready to serve cut the roll into 1/2 inch pieces and arrange them on a platter. Decorate with cherry tomatoes and olives. I have made these many times using different ingredients. For an upcoming wedding I will make them with humus because the bride is lactose intolerant.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.