Well, Carnival is in full swing in New Orleans and I am in Detroit. Instead of beads, doubloons, or other trinkets, the Krewe of Mother Nature just threw us another helping of snow, and I have to say……This parade sucks.
Oh well, there is no reason that we can’t at least have some good food to remind us that winter does serve a purpose, at least in my kitchen; slow braised or stewed, stick to your ribs (and arteries) comfort food. Inexpensive cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken, whatever, slow cooked in a liquid or gravy of some kind until so tender that it practically melts off of the bone.
Tonight was Chicken Fricassee, Louisiana style with a roux, and the holy trinity. My roux here is a little lighter than some would prefer in some parts of Louisiana; I prefer a peanut butter colored roux for this dish. Also note that like a lot of my recipes I add the holy trinity in two stages, about 3/4 goes into the roux after it reaches the peanut butter stage, and the remainder goes in with the liquid. It is a layering of flavor and texture.
It is important to have the sauce for this dish almost fully seasoned before adding the chicken, because you want the chicken to take on all of the flavor of the sauce, although I would just slightly under season with the salt as the sauce will reduce a bit.
Chicken Fricassee Recipe
5-6 lbs Chicken Leg and Thigh Quarters
For browning the chicken:
1 Cup Flour seasoned with:
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
A few turns of Black Pepper
A healthy pinch of Cayenne
For the Fricassee:
1 Cup Home Rendered Lard, Bacon Drippings, Duck Fat or Vegetable Oil (if you must)
3/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Onion, chopped
1 Cup Celery, chopped
1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Quart Chicken Stock, preferably homemade
1 Bay Leaf
1 Bundle of Fresh Thyme, tied together with butcher’s twine
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne to taste
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, taken off of the stem and chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice
Heat the lard, or whichever fat you chose to use, over medium high heat until a small sprinkle of flour quickly sizzles when tossed in. While the fat is heating mix together the flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne, dredge the leg & thigh quarters in the mixture and shake off any excess, set aside on a plate.
When the fat is hot, brown the chicken until golden on both sides, do not cook all the way through, set aside.
Mix together the onions, celery, and bell pepper (holy trinity) in a small bowl.
When the chicken is browned and set aside, pour off 1/2 cup of the fat, leaving about 1/2 cup of it in the pan. Over medium heat gradually whisk in the 3/4 cup of flour until incorporated and slightly thick, stir constantly until a roux the color of peanut butter is achieved, then stir in 3/4 of the holy trinity, mushrooms, and a pinch of Kosher salt, turn the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes more, stirring slowly but constantly.
Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium, cook 5 minutes more. Whisk in the chicken stock very gradually to avoid lumps. When it is all incorporated bring the mixture to a full boil to bring the flour to it’s full thickening power, then reduce the sauce to medium low. Stir in the remaining trinity, garlic, bay leaf, bundled thyme, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Submerge the chicken in the sauce cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours or until falling off of the bone tender. Remove the bundled Thyme and Bay leaf and stir in the chopped Thyme. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
Serve the chicken with Creole Boiled Rice, and a generous portion of the sauce topped with Green Onions.
If you like, the sauce or gravy for this dish could be finished with heavy cream, sour cream, or creme fraiche. This would also go great with dumplings to replace the rice.
Be sure to check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes featured on this site! Also be sure to check out the sister site to Nola Cuisine called American Gourmand!