About a month ago we had experienced a delightful meal at our daughter and son-in-laws' home. The entrée was an amazing recipe from Daniel Boulud's Café Boulud Cookbook. I found the book was available from our library system so I checked it out and brought it home to see if there were any other gems to be found.
I was feeling like an old-fashioned Sunday dinner today so the recipe for his grandmother's chicken fricassee sounded perfect! Earthy and satisfying, we truly enjoyed this French-style chicken dish.
I only made a few changes to the recipe based on things I had on hand.
Chicken Grand-mère Francine
Adapted from the Cafe Boulud Cookbook
The introduction to the recipe is a wonderful testimonial to his grandmother, who cooked at the original Café Boulud in Lyon, France.
The recipe serves 4
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3-pounds of chicken parts
Salt and freshly ground white pepper (I used Penzey's Malaysian Sarawak peppercorns)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 small, sweet onions (I used a bunch of baby Vidalias)
4 shallots, peeled and trimmed
2 heads garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
3 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 baby Yukon potatoes, cut into quarters
2 small celery roots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks (or 1/2 half large celery root)
4 slices of bacon, sliced into narrow strips
1 lb mushrooms of your choice, trimmed and cleaned
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375F
Over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan or dutch oven with a lid, tall enough to hold all the ingredients and, preferably, wide. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown until very golden on all sides, for at least 10-15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the butter, stirring to melt and then the onions, shallots, garlic and thyme sprigs and cooking, stirring, until the vegetables take on a bit of color, about 3 minutes. Then, add the potatoes, celery root and bacon and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over them, return the chicken parts to the pan and add the chicken broth or stock. Bring to a boil and place the uncovered pan into the oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and garlic cloves.
Be sure you have enough crusty bread to enjoy the delicious juices from this amazing recipe! The garlic cloves can be used to squeeze onto the bread.
The flavors are very earthy and complex.