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
4/16/2022 07:14:13 am
Happy Easter to you Mimi.
4/16/2022 07:15:29 am
It’s a comforting dish and you can make it with different vegetables. Happy Easter Sherry.
4/19/2022 04:14:11 pm
I love mushrooms, I went for lunch with my girlfriend today and I ordered a dish where mushrooms were substituted for escargots. It was delicious.
4/20/2022 07:33:48 am
I love this dish! And almost made it for a dinner party a week or two ago, before deciding on something else. I definitely need to make this again -- so good, and your version is wonderful. I'm partial to serving this with dumplings instead of rice, although noodles are also great.
4/20/2022 08:07:14 am
I would love to have this chicken fricassee with dumplings . What kind of dumplings do you make?
4/22/2022 04:30:20 am
I have a confession to make - I've definitely heard about chicken fricassee, but I didn't actually know what it was. You're right - it's definitely a close cousin of chicken pot pie. This sounds amazing! And serving it with homemade spatzle!? Yes, please!! I bet you're looking forward to that trip back to Germany soon. :-)
4/24/2022 08:04:37 am
Thanks David, my trip to Europe is coming up. Let’s hope for the best.
5/6/2022 09:47:37 pm
Your fricasé was absolutely delicious when you made it for our family during our time of need. We devoured the pie and scraped the dish to get every last bit. I liked it with the crust on top. Thank you!
5/7/2022 08:11:53 pm
I always enjoyed your treats and care when I was under the weather.
5/18/2022 10:13:58 am
Well, unfortunately, my resubscribing did not work. I’m not sure why… I blame Comcast! I promise to come by and visit often to see what you are preparing! Your comment on my puff pastry boxes now makes absolute sense… This would be perfect in one of those for a special dinner. I look forward to trying it. I never knew it was well known in Germany, but perhaps that’s because it wasn’t in the regions I lived…?
3/18/2023 08:25:56 am
I think chicken fricassee is a dish from the north David, although I am not sure. Its a comforting satisfying dish .
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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.