Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chicken Fricasse

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.


  1. That dish looks so good! I love fricassee! and with the mushrooms. and I bet the celery root gave it nice flavor. I've never used that. Copying the recipe and definitely going to make this for a nice Sunday dinner. It's perfect! Your description of the garlic and the bread has me dying to try this very soon!

  2. Oh, Susan, I'm going to have to stop looking at food blogs! I know, no calories in looking, but gosh, does it ever weaken the resolve! All flavors I would love. And the bread...and the juices. (sigh) Super nice dinner!

  3. Susan, what a wonderful sounding recipe. The ingredients appeal to me also. I would actually like make this recipe and may. :)

    I only "know" Daniel Boulud from Top Chef. I've been impressed with his generous comments and constructive criticisms. He seems like he would be a very good mentor to young chefs.

    Your first photo is exquisite.

  4. What a perfect Sunday dinner...It looks delicious, Susan..

    I am liking that show Chopped on the food channel...they really have to hustle!

  5. What a beautifully comforting looking dish. I would love it, I know. This is basically how my mom always prepared chicken. So it takes me home. The first photo is fantastic Susan. Beautiful plate!

  6. What a gorgeous meal. Wonderful flavours there. I almost licked my screen while looking at your pictures!

  7. What a fantastic mael. It looks beautiful, rustic. I love the simplicity and flavors in there!

  8. I have to mention the bowl is gorgeous too!

    A favored resto in France is Chez Grand-Mère,Tourrettes-Sur-Loup.
    I met her and her son-in-law and grandson in the square..So nice..This type of wonderful food.

  9. A perfect dish to showcase in those beautiful new dishes. They are so elegant and old fashioned (with the antiquing) looking at the same time.

    This recipe does sound like a keeper and I will definitely be trying it but I imagine the taste will not be the same if I use skinless chicken pieces and cut the butter/oil. Like Jayne, food blogs aren't helping my diet :-) but I just love to come and see what my friends are up too!

  10. Susan - perfect comfort food in this cold!

    Your photos are gorgeous - I'm sure will be seeing this one in Fg or TS !!!

    I'm really getting taken with the Top Chef, Chopped and the Food Network Challenges on Sun night..I'd be a nervous wreck!!

  11. Hi Susan,
    Your a lady after my own heart! I love cooking, trying new recipes, Photography, gardening, and painting. (although I'm not very good at the painting part of it)
    I just wanted to say how lovely those plates are on your latest food photos. I would love to find out where I can get some like them. Adorable! Your other photos are exceptional also. I especially love the japanese maple image.

  12. that's like the prettiest plate i've ever seen in my life :)

  13. Mmmm, Susan, that looks delicious! My mom used to make chicken fricasee and when I was a child my Dad called it "fricken chicken" - not sure if Daniel Boulud would appreciate that but it still makes me smile :)

  14. Thank you, Carol. I had never used celery root before either but I loved the flavor in this dish.

    Thank you for your sweet comments Jayne, Cynthia, Kathleen and Suzy, Pig Pig, Donna, Monique, Marsha and Barb.

    Jayne and Marsha, not too much concern calorie-wise as we will be eating this again tonight so we didn't overeat yesterday. I didn't make any bread either, although I would have loved it.

    Thank you also, On The Menu, and Mallory Elise. The plates were actually from Homegoods and purchased last summer. The brand name is Matceramica, if that helps.

    Annie, you made me laugh..frickin chicken - LOL!

  15. I made this tonight with what I had in the refrigerator (no mushrooms). Rave reviews. Comfort food.

  16. This looks great -- this may be my next "Sunday Dinner"

  17. Thank you Denese and Martha! I'm glad you enjoyed it Denese :)

  18. What a gorgeous, peaceful looking meal. I've seen this book on multiple occasions, but have yet to cook from it. Think it's time I stop getting hit on the head with the hint and just Pick. The. Book. Up. Already.


I appreciate your comments! I turned off Anonymous comments due to spam. If you need to contact me regarding a recipe, please use my email address found under About Me in the tool bar at the top of the page.