Fricassee is a classic technique of sautéing a protein before simmering it in a flavorful thickened broth laced with aromatic vegetables and wine. It's also one of our favorite one-pot meals, which, in this case, highlights the flavors of spring with bright tarragon, peas and artichokes.
We went full French for this recipe, embracing the technique of using a liaison (a mixture of egg yolks and cream) to finish the broth. Unlike a traditional thick stew, the broth in a fricassee should be nappé, or just thick enough to coat the back of spoon. Once this is achieved, the liaison is stirred in to add richness and mouthfeel, but not to thicken. Add the tempered mixture off the heat to ensure you don't end up with scrambled eggs but a velvety braise, perfect for any weeknight meal.
Spring Chicken Fricassee
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
3 tablespoons olive oil
One 3½-to-4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, small dice
1 medium carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup white wine
2½ cups chicken stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup fresh peas
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, sear the chicken, turning as needed, until golden brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms, and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook until blond in color, 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the browned chicken with the chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165º, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the thyme and bay leaf, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream. Once cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons of the chicken cooking liquid to the egg yolk mixture to temper. Stir the yolk mixture back into the pot with the peas, artichoke hearts, tarragon and lemon juice. Divide between bowls and serve.
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