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quick chicken fricassee

December 18, 2010

Whew, another break from blogging there! My bad. This past week was exams, and the week before was reading period, so basically all I’ve been capable of writing is “Jurisdiction! Estoppel! Self-defense! Takings!” And no one wants to read that. (Except, ha! You just did! HA HA I FOOLED YOU!) Anyway, I have a four-hour bus ride to New York ahead of me this morning, so let’s see if I can’t manage to catch up to Christmas recipes while it’s still, uh, December, shall we?

Mmmm, sour cream + egg yolk.
Hokay, starting with this gem! I was skeptical of this one, I have to admit, and pretty much picked it out of Cook’s Illustrated at random to go along with the dumpling-noodle recipe from the latest (at the time) issue that I really wanted to try. I mean, nutmeg? Tarragon? Sour cream? (I categorically dislike sour cream unless it’s baked into something. Pretty much the only dairy product I won’t eat.) I was having a hard time picturing how they all went together.

The thing is, though, the noodles turned out to be an epic fail that I won’t even be posting on here (Cook’s Country instructed me to cut holes in the bottom of a foil pan and run the batter over the holes to let it drop into boiling water to cook…except the batter basically cooked into the holes over the steam before it could form into noodles), and this—this was delicious.

The sauce was surprisingly mild, given all the random flavors packed into it, but still flavorful and perfectly-balanced. My mom was pouring the extra sauce over the failblog noodle-nuggets by the end of the meal. And while it wasn’t exactly “quick,” per se, it was definitely worth it for a Sunday night dinner.

Quick Chicken Fricassee
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, place chicken in skillet and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.
2. Add mushrooms, onion, and wine to now-empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add broth and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in breasts and 175 degrees when inserted in thighs, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer chicken to clean platter and tent loosely with foil. Whisk sour cream and egg yolk together in medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stir 1/2 cup sauce into sour cream mixture. Stirring constantly, slowly pour sour cream mixture into simmering sauce. Stir in nutmeg, lemon juice, and tarragon; return to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Source: Cook’s Illustrated

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