Chicken Fricassee
Poultry, Swabian, Vegetables

Chicken Fricassee (‘Hühnerfrikassee’)

9 comments

Last Updated on 6 months by Tim

Do you have some chicken meat leftovers from making my chicken broth recipe? No problem, chicken fricassee is a satisfying dish that takes the chicken meat as well as the chicken broth to the next level.

The chicken broth gets incorporated into a velvety sauce to which the shredded chicken meat along with seasonal spring vegetables gets added. It’s so simple and so delicious. All it takes is a little effort.

How to prepare the sauce

The sauce for chicken fricassee is basically an enriched velouté sauce.

You start by sweating equal parts of butter and flour together over medium heat to form a light roux. The first liquid that goes into the pan will be dry white wine. After that, the freshly made chicken broth gets added.

When making a velouté or béchamel sauce, always add your liquid bit by bit and stir constantly with a whisk to prevent any lumps from forming.

It’s important to let your sauce simmer for at least 10-15 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste and to smoothen its texture. To further enhance the aroma, I added some juniper berries as well as a clove and bay leaf to the simmering sauce.

Once your sauce has had some time to develop flavor, you need to strain it. It’s obvious that this step helps to remove the spices from the sauce, but even if you don’t add any spices you should always strain velouté or béchamel sauces. It ensures that there are no lumps left in your sauce and gives your sauce that perfect velvety texture.

How to give your sauce the finishing touch

For chicken fricassee, the velouté sauce consisting of white wine and chicken broth gets enriched with heavy cream. The heavy cream gives the sauce it’s pale color and adds just a little richness and full-bodied mouthfeel to it.

If you want to be even more elegant, you could also enrich the sauce with an egg yolk. This process is called ‘legieren‘ in German or ‘lier’ in French. To ‘lier’ a sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with a few tablespoons of the hot sauce. Then add the mixture into the hot but not simmering sauce and whisk until incorporated.

It’s important that you don’t let your sauce come up to a boil afterward, as you don’t want scrambled eggs in your sauce. The reason I don’t ‘lier’ the sauce in this recipe, is that I love having leftovers, and sauces enriched with egg yolk cannot be reheated. But if you’re making this dish for a special occasion without the need to reheat it, go ahead and ‘lier’ the sauce. It makes for a spectacular finish.

The traditional approach to chicken fricassee vs. mine

Ok, in the traditional sense and for a lot of German grandmas this is a true one-pot meal. You first make the sauce, then add your chicken meat and vegetables and simmer them inside the sauce until tender. And there’s nothing wrong with using this method.

I, however, like to cook my vegetables separately. First, it is easier to cook them all to their perfect doneness that way. And second, each component gets seasoned individually, which makes the end result ten times more delicious.

I like to blanch the asparagus and carrots in salted boiling water while I prefer my mushrooms to be sauteed in some clarified butter. The frozen peas have already been blanched before they were frozen so that you can add them to the sauce shortly before serving to heat them up. You can prepare all the vegetables while the sauce is simmering so that this method takes no extra time, just an extra pot and pan.

For the mushrooms, I used king oyster mushrooms, but you can also substitute button mushrooms in case you can’t source them.

Once all the components of this dish are prepped, you just toss everything in the sauce and let it warm through for 2-3 minutes.

What to serve your chicken fricassee with

Chicken fricassee is usually served with plain white rice which nicely soaks up the flavor of the sauce. I prefer to eat it with millet which also has a lovely flavor and is a great rice substitute. You could also eat it with plain boiled potatoes if you like. I usually use dill or chervil to garnish my chicken fricassee because these two herbs go great with chicken.

9 Comments

    • Thanks a lot, Jeanne. I love the variety of colors and textures in this dish. It’s one of the prettiest dishes to look at.

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