Chicken Fricassee

The sauce on this dish is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Sort of a cross between a chicken veloute and a hollindase, it’s smooth and creamy and lemony and just makes me happy. I’m a sucker for a good sauce.
This recipe comes from a giant text book of recipes from the Le Cordon Bleu school. It is very authentically French and is really quite easy.
Chicken thighs are great for braised dishes, such as this. Cooked for long enough, they are always tender and flavorful.

Ingredients: Serves 6.

  • 12 Chicken Thighs (boneless & skinless)
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 3 oz. Butter
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, cut into strips(1/4″X2″)
  • 1/4 c. Flour
  • 24 oz. Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 small piece Celery
  • 4 Parsley Stems
  • 1/4 t. Thyme leaves
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/2 c. Heavy Cream
  • Lemon Juice, to taste
  • Nutmeg(ground), to taste
  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and the onion. Saute very lightly so that the chicken is seared on all sides, but do not brown.
  3. Add the flour and stir so that it combines with the butter to form a roux. Cook for 2 minutes without browning.
  4. Gradually stir in enough stock to cover the chicken. ***adding the stock slowly and stirring after each addition until the sauce has thickened will prevent lumps from forming.
  5. Add the herbs, tied in a cheese cloth. ***I use a tea ball(those little mesh balls with a chain attached for brewing tea), stuff the herbs into it, close it, and hang it from the top of the pan so that the ball is submerged in the broth. You don’t want herbs floating around in this dish or it will ruin the effect of the flawlessly creamy sauce.
  6. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until the thighs are very tender. Make sure to stir occasionally while cooking so that the bottom does not brown.
  7. Remove the chicken from the sauce and keep it warm in a covered pan or a plate covered with tin foil.
  8. Strain the remaining sauce in the pan and discard solids. Press on the solids in the herb sachet to extract juices into the sauce and discard solids. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until thickened, if necessary.
  9. In a bowl, combine the egg yolk and cream. Temper with a little bit of the hot sauce and then add the egg mixture to the sauce and stir well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring constantly. DO NOT BOIL. ***Temper means to slowly add small amounts of a hot liquid to a cold to warm it up, so that it does not curdle the mixture when the hot liquid is added all at once.
  10. Remove the sauce from the heat. Season to taste with the lemon juice and nutmeg. Add more salt and white pepper, if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  11. Serve with basil mashed potatoes, or a colorful rice pilaf.

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