Chicken fricassee – Hühnerfrikassee

chicken fricassée - Hühnerfrikassée

I am working on a recipe index… and tidying up some loose ends. Boy, all of those take some time and I got lost dreaming of a new place or a change. This initiated a minor spring clean: the kitchen got a spruce paint job (white over splatters, project The-parents-are-coming-soon) and I had a good tidy in the storage room reappointing a lot of things to the charity shop: don’t think I’ll ever wear the Girbaud suit thing with cut-outs again (stretchy material, though). Invigorating.

Hühnerfrikassee is one of my favourite meals since I was a child: the sauce is a little lemony and ever so often you hit a tangy tasting brined caper. I love (loooove) capers and their numbers tend to decrease every time I am passing my pan, so beware, if you find me in the vicinity of your stove acting totally innocent – probably whistling – while you wonder about the severely diminished caper-count. I did it, spoon at the ready, to my mother’s fricassee every time her back was turned. Sorry, Mama.

In Germany, chicken fricassee is classically served with white asparagus tips when the new & tender white asparagus is in season (now) or otherwise, sliced white champignons could be added to the aromatic sauce. I love the pure dish equally to an asparagus studded version and have some bright green peas as a side to contrast the pale creamy white.

On a weekend or if you have the time it is definitely worth it making the fricassee from scratch using a tasty long, free & happy-lived boiling chicken. The meat stays wonderfully juicy and you’ll have a great chicken broth as a bonus. For instant gratification and a really fast dinner (we are talking maximum 10-15 minutes including the time it takes to cook the rice) use leftover meat from a roasted chicken and start the recipe with the roux. For smaller portions, I think a poached chicken breast (use the same recipe for the poaching liquid) works well, too. Although, why not make a whole batch and freeze the surplus portions for a rainy day?

 


 

Chicken fricassee

for 6-8 people as a main, depending on the voracity of their appetite

1 chicken (preferably a boiling hen)
salt
2 tablespoons butter (30g)
1 onion
root vegetables for soup (ask for ‘Suppengrün’): 1 large carrot, a piece celery root (1 thick slice or ¼ small root), 1 leek, 1 parsley root, 1 yellow turnip, 1 branch parsley & lovage => dice all, leave herbs whole
lemon peel or a thick slice of lemon (organic)
basil
a few black pepper corns
½ – ¾ litre = 500-750ml or a 1½ pint (US) water

30g butter
1 shallot, minced
2 heaped tablespoons (30g) flour
½ litre (500ml or a pint) of the reserved stock, don’t fret if it is a little less or top up
white wine (dry, a small glass)
small capers in brine (to taste)
90ml or 6 tablespoons cream
lemon juice
salt & white pepper
(optional: 1 egg yolk)
optional: sliced white champignons de Paris or tender white asparagus tips

Dry the chicken, season with salt and pepper. Heat a braising pan, small Dutch oven or a heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat and fry the chicken until only lightly coloured and not browned on all sides. Toss the diced soup vegetables a little in the butter without browning, then add the aromatics (herbs, lemon peel, pepper) & finally pour in the water. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for about 1½ hours, turning the chicken from time to time. Leave to cool and take the meat of the bones and tear it into bite sized pieces: either wait until you are able to touch the chicken or leave for a few hours or overnight until needed, then tear the meat of accordingly. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.

Make a light roux with shallot: melt the butter, sweat the shallot until translucent, sprinkle with flour and leave to roast (not brown!) for a moment, add the liquid in small instalments. To avoid a lumpy sauce add only a little broth at a time, whisking constantly until the mass is smooth again, add more broth and whisk again until smooth again, repeat with increasing amounts of liquid, stirring constantly. Pour in a good lug or a small glass of white wine and continue to cook a few minutes more to allow the roux to thicken the sauce slightly. Add the chicken meat, capers (to taste, I like a lot, some people prefer less), cream and season with lemon juice, salt & pepper. My grandmother used an egg yolk to enrich & thicken the sauce a little more. Traditionally slices of snow-white champignons or equally tender white asparagus tips are added to the chicken fricassee (mushrooms sautéed in butter without taking colour, thin asparagus tips cooked for 4-5 minutes in salted water with a pinch of sugar added), a vision in pale cream flecked with dark green capers. We eat this with white basmati rice and cooked green peas.


Hühnerfrikassée

für 6-8 Personen

1 gutes Suppenhuhn
Salz
2 EL Butter
1 Zwiebel
Suppengrün oder –gemüse: 1 große Möhre, 1 große Scheibe oder ¼ Knolle Sellerieknolle, 1 Stange Lauch, 1 Petersilienwurzel, 1 gelbe Rübe, 1 Zweig Petersilie & Liebstöckel => Gemüse würfeln, Kräuter ganz lassen
Zitronenschale oder dicke Scheibe einer ganzen Zitrone Bio, versteht sich)
Basilikum
einige schwarze Pfefferkörner
½ – ¾ Liter Wasser

30g Butter
1 Schalotte, fein gewürfelt
2 gehäufte EL (30g) Mehl
½ Liter Hühnerbrühe (wenn es nicht reicht, macht nichts oder einfach mit ein wenig Wasser aufstocken)
trockener Weißwein (ca. ein kleines Glas)
kleine Kapern in Lake (nach Geschmack)
90ml oder 6 EL Sahne
Zitronensaft
Salz & weißer Pfeffer
(optional: 1 Eigelb zum legieren der Sauce)
optional: weiße Champignons in Scheiben geschnitten oder weiße Spargelspitzen

Huhn abtrocknen, salzen und pfeffern und in einem Schmortopf (mit Deckel) in Butter bei mäßiger Hitze von allen Seiten leicht anbraten bis das Huhn Farbe annimmt, aber nicht bräunt. Das klein geschnittene Suppengemüse hinzugeben und ebenfalls in der Butter anschwitzen, dann die Kräutern, Zitronenschale & Pfefferkörner hinzugeben, anschließend mit Wasser begießen. Den Deckel auflegen und ca. 1 ½ Stunden köcheln lasse, das Huhn von Zeit zu Zeit wenden. Huhn abkühlen lassen, dann das Fleisch von den Knochen pflücken und in kleine Stücke zerteilen: entweder direkt nach dem Kochen, ein paar Stunden oder einen Tag später. Für eine schnelle Version kann man auch Reste von einem gebratenen Hühnchen verwenden – solange es nicht zu trocken ist. Die Brühe durch ein feines Sieb seihen und für die Sauce verwahren.

 

Für die Sauce eine Mehlschwitze mit der Schalotte herstellen: die Butter schmelzen und die Schalottenwürfel darin glasig werden lassen (nicht bräunen), dann das Mehl hinzugeben und anschwitzen. Die Flüssigkeit zuerst in geringer Menge hinzugeben, mit einem Schneebesen oder Holzlöffel rühren bis wieder eine glatte Masse entsteht, immer wieder unter ständigem Rühren etwas (später mehr) Flüssigkeit hinzu gießen bis schlussendlich eine glatte Sauce ohne Klümpchen entsteht. Einen guten Schuß (oder ein kleines Glas) Weißwein hineingeben und wenige Minuten weiter kochen lassen bis die Sauce durch die Roux dicklich geworden ist. Hühnerfleisch, Kapern (nach Geschmack: ich liebe Kapern, also nehme ich ein kleines Gläschen), Sahne einrühren und das Frikassée mit Zitronensaft, Salz & Pfeffer abschmecken. Meine Oma hat ihr Hühnerfrikassée noch mit einem Eigelb legiert (einrühren und nicht mehr zu heiß werden lassen), traditionell werden auch noch entweder in Scheiben geschnittene weiße Champignons (in Butter geschwenkt) oder zarte weiße gekochte Spargelspitzen hinzugefügt: eine Symphony in creme mit kleinen olivfarbenen Kapern. Wir essen dies meist ohne Pilze oder Spargel, aber mit weißem Basmatireis und grünen Erbsen.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Chicken fricassee – Hühnerfrikassee

    • Urgh, I remember, those can be bad & I always wonder what chicken they did use. Better to stay vegetarian in institution-kitchens… If you’ll have it someday: Bon appetit from me and remember to guard the capers from me. N

  1. This sounds DELICIOUS, though I’ve never eaten a fricassee before. I’m a fellow lover of salty, piquant capers… my mother used to cook salmon and we’d eat it with capers and mayonnaise; I always wanted the MOST capers! I definitely want to try this recipe! x

    • Hi Laura, fellow caper addict, thank you. Salmon, capers & mayo sounds great – we have a similar combo as a spread with tinned tuna & celery, mmh… Lots to make soon.
      BTW, I did some work on a recipe index – easier browsing. N. xx

  2. Sounds wonderful! Said Bresse chicken though, despite its renowned ancestry and family tree, turned out quite a chewy one :-(( how disappointing! I made chicken broth with the 2nd half of it (the other half ended up as the worst roast chicken I ever made). I´ll try your recipe with a more tender bird, Nicole!

    • Uh, what a shame about the Bresse chicken, my husband had the same feelings when I made one once and found it way to game-y. I liked the gameyness and found it had a certain relation to the taste of wild duck. Needless to say that I am sure we’ll not have it often (leaves more money for lobster). As for the fricassee, a good chicken to get an authentic taste but certainly not a Bresse one since it is so different. N xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s