The space heater has officially taken up residence in my bedroom. This morning was the first official frost. Winter is a’comin’ folks! That being said, while chilly, the sun was shining this morning, and it’s been a good day. Brunch with the neighbours, a movie, shopping at the thrift store for warm fuzzy pants (success!), and looking forward to an evening of baking sugar cookies with the eight-year-old girl who lives in my house. She has a halloween party at school on Monday and wants to cookies decorated like pumpkins. Actually, not a hard request, just time consuming between chilling dough and waiting for icing to dry. That being said, it should be fun.
This delightful little recipe that follows is for Chicken Fricassee. According to Easy French Food, fricassee is a word used liberally in French cooking and basically means browned in butter and finished in a wine or bouillon. Not rocket science, but it sounds fancy. This fancy sounding dish is delicious, although not overly healthy. But it could be a lot worse!
2 chicken breast, skinned and diced
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 oz brandy
1/3 cup white wine
2 tsp tarragon (feel free to use thyme if tarragon doesn’t suit your palate)
1/3 cup whipping cream (optional)
400 ml chicken veloute– see below for instructions on making veloute
salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Veloute: Veloute is basically a stock that is thickened using butter and flour. For this veloute, melt butter in small sauce pan. Stir in flour to incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat for a couple minutes to get rid of the starchy taste, but do not brown. Add chicken stock (I’d just round up to 2 cups or 500ml). Stir well until incorporated and thickened slightly. If clumpy, strain.
In saute pan, melt butter and sear chicken over medium heat. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add mushrooms to the pan, adding additional butter as needed. Sprinkle with salt to help draw out moisture. Cook until mushrooms have reduced. Add brandy and flambe. (If you have a gas stove, simply tilt pan away from you and into the flames– careful with this one! If you have an electric or induction stove, feel free to use a match, but once again, be careful.) Flames will reduce when alcohol burns off. Add tarragon followed by white wine. Reduce until almost no liquid is remaining (au sec– nearly dry). Add your veloute and simmer until it begins to thicken. Add whipping cream. Fricassee is done when sauce is lightly thickened and big bubbles are forming on the sauce. Remove from heat.
Serve over rice with your choice of vegetables.