Grilled chicken can get boring real fast, and that’s why dinners like this chicken fricassee can be a welcome option for an easy, weeknight meal.
Chicken fricassee is a French, one-pot chicken dish named after the manner in which the chicken is cut, sautéed, and braised. Chicken that is prepared this way is referred to as fricassee in French.
Chicken fricassee has many variations, but it typically consists of a whole chicken that’s been cut into separate parts (i.e. breast, wing, leg, etc.) first, then sautéed and braised in a pot.
It’s usually made with a creamy, white wine sauce and a mix of vegetables.
My Spin on the Classic
For this chicken fricassee, I utilized diced carrots, celery, and mushrooms as the vegetable base, then brightened the dish with fresh lemon juice and tarragon.
The tarragon is really the star ingredient here, as it provides a distinct, wonderful flavor to the chicken.
I also bought breast halves and drumsticks (skin-on), rather than buy a whole chicken. I usually don’t buy a whole chicken unless I’m roasting it, so using the breast halves and drumsticks is not only easier but more authentic to my weeknight routine.
Dreamy Cream Sauce
Chicken fricassee is not quite a stew, as it’s not as hearty, and yet it’s not a sauté, since liquid is added. It kind of lies somewhere in-between.
And that’s okay with me. Because whatever it is, it’s fantastic. The cream sauce is rich, thick, and luxurious poured over the juicy, tender chicken.
In fact, the sauce is so tasty, I’ll often serve chicken fricassee with a baguette, perfect for soaking up that delicious sauce. The dish is also equally delightful with some white rice.
Aside from the fact that the entire dish is made in one pot (yay for less dishes to wash!), the meal comes together in just about an hour, including prep time, making it a convenient weeknight meal.
- 2 strips bacon (cut into 1/2")
- 2 tsp (28 grams) oil (divided)
- 1 breast half + 3 drumsticks (or any desired combination of parts, skin-on)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 a shallot (minced)
- 1/2 a large onion. diced
- 1 carrot (diced small)
- 1 celery rib (diced small)
- 8 oz (227 grams) mushrooms (sliced with stems removed)
- 2 tbsp (16 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 sprigs of parsley
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (411 grams) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup (74.5 grams) white wine
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) half n half
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp (30.5 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp (14 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp tarragon (chopped)
- First, pat dry the chicken parts with a paper towel. Evenly sprinkle salt and a small pinch of freshly ground pepper over both sides of all the chicken pieces.
- In a large, heavy-bottom pot (or dutch oven), heat 1 tsp of oil over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces in and sauté until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon so that you only remove the bacon and not its grease.
- To the pot, add the chicken pieces and cook each side until nicely browned and golden. Temporarily remove the chicken from the pot and place it on a plate to rest. To the pot, add the shallot, onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until they're soft and tender - about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the mushroom slices until they're tender and glossy - about 5 minutes. Then stir in the flour and sauté for about 1 minute, until the flour is absorbed by all the veggies and is no longer visible.
- Pour in the chicken broth, white wine, and 2 1/3 cups (551 grams) of water to the pot. Add 1/2 tsp (2.8 grams) of salt and a pinch of ground pepper. Then tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together using kitchen string. Drop this herb bouquet into the pot. Add the chicken back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer. Partially cover the pot with a lid.
- Cook the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is fork tender and reads at least 165°F on a thermometer. Meanwhile, in separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and half n half together until combined; temporarily set aside.
- Once the chicken is ready, temporarily remove the chicken from the pot. Then stream in 1/4 cup of the sauce from the pot into the bowl of egg batter, streaming it in slowly and whisking the egg batter vigorously as you do. Now, pour this egg mixture into the pot and give it a stir.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then add the lemon juice, butter, and chopped tarragon. Give everything a stir, then add the chicken back into the pot. Continue to let the sauce simmer with the chicken for a few minutes before serving. Pour some sauce over the chicken once it's plated, and add any extra sauce to a gravy boat to accompany on the table.
If you don't have bacon on hand, you can simply replace it with a tablespoon (14 grams) of unsalted butter instead.