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A stew-like rustic and comforting French chicken dinner made with bone-in chicken and veggies in a creamy, flavor-packed sauce.
The general description of chicken fricassee is browning chicken pieces in butter and then braising them in a sauce. In this case, mushroom and chicken stock enhance the sauce’s flavor. This French-origin dish sits well between a saute and a stew.
No meat lover can let the call of a fricassee go unanswered. The browned crisp crust on the chicken is appealing, and you can never have enough of this creamy, delicious sauce. The hero of the dish is the sauce. I tell you, this is one recipe where the sauce beats the browned chicken pieces hands down. That’s how good the sauce is.
Typically, that depth of flavor comes with long hours of slow cooking, whereas this recipe gives that complex flavor, aided by mushrooms, white wine, and chicken stock, in far less time. Delivers the most bang for an hour of your time.
This dish shall always be a much-applauded luxury in busy weekday dinners and an indulgence over the weekends. This is one of the stars among the array of chicken and gravy recipes I have made.
- Bone-in chicken with skin – Suggest using bone-in chicken thighs with skin for the most flavor. The skin crisps when fried in butter. Skinless would work, but you will miss the crunch. Boneless thighs or breasts risk overcooking since meat without bones cooks faster.
- Unsalted butter – the source of fat used to fry the chicken pieces. Butter gives a better flavor than oil for browning the meat. Butter is also used with flour to make the roux, the thickening and binding agent for the sauce.
- Diced onions & minced garlic – typical aromatics to provide a flavor base to the gravy. Use finely minced garlic.
- Carrot – softens and absorbs the sauce’s extra water, thickens the gravy, and adds sweetness.
- White mushrooms – boost the flavor profile of any gravy or sauce.
- Bay leaf – commonly used to up the aroma of most gravies.
- Plain/all-purpose flour – is used to make the roux which helps thicken the sauce.
- White wine – gives a complex flavor to the sauce.
- Low-sodium chicken stock – gives a body to the sauce and enhances the flavor.
- Thickened/heavy cream – makes the gravy creamy and thick.
- Egg yolk – acts as a binder, binds everything else in the sauce, and avoids splitting.
- Salt and black pepper – add as per taste and your tolerance. Remember, the stock has salt already in it.
- Herbs – like celery, fresh thyme sprigs, or chopped parsley.
How to make chicken fricassee
Browning the chicken
First, pat the chicken thighs dry to ensure the skin is not wet, and season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
We will sear the chicken pieces in batches without overcrowding the skillet. Heat a heavy bottom skillet and then heat butter in it. First, place the sides of the chicken pieces with the skin down. Sear the pieces until the skin turns brown and appears crispy. Flip them and cook for another 3 minutes. Take chicken pieces out and keep them aside.
Make the sauce
To the same skillet, add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until the onion loses its rawness and appears translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and saute them for up to 3 minutes. Mushrooms will shrink as they lose water; you should see the water evaporate.
Now add the aromatics and spices – garlic, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Next, add flour to thicken the soup and give it a body. Let the mixture cook until it mixes well. Add white wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release any stuck bits of flour. Once you see bubbles, add chicken stock and give it a good stir. .gets the consistency you desire.
Cook with chicken
Add the seared chicken pieces with the skin side up and let it cook in the sauce for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and keep them aside.
Build up the sauce
The sauce now needs heavy cream and egg yolk. Whisk them with a fork in a bowl and slowly stir them into the skillet. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Place the chicken pieces onto the skillet and spoon the sauce on the chicken pieces. Serve and enjoy!
Store chicken fricassee in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave.
This can be frozen for months. Ensure a double layer of foil to wrap the container tightly. Reheat it in the microwave. You may need to add a little water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
- 2 lbs bone-in chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onions diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 stem celery
- 2 medium carrots
- 400 g white mushrooms
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¼ cup plain / all-purpose
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- Pat dry chicken thighs with a kitchen tissue. Season both sides well with salt and pepper.
- Heat butter in a heavy bottom skillet. Place seasoned half of the chicken skin side down. Sear for 2-3 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
- Repeat the above step with the rest of the chicken pieces.
- Add diced onion, celery, and carrots to the same skillet (you will have remaining butter). Saute for one minute.
- Add sliced mushroom. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add minced garlic, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme sprig. Saute for a minute. Stir in flour and cook until the raw smell is gone.
- Stir in white wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release any stuck bit of flour. Let the mixture bubble for about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, give everything a good stir.
- Add seared chicken pieces back to the skillet skin side up. When the mixture comes to a low boil, simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken pieces using a tong and keep aside covered.
- Lower heat. Whisk heavy cream and egg yolk with a fork. Slowly stir the heavy cream mixture into the skillet. Let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes.
- Place the chicken pieces back to the skillet. Pour the sauce over chicken pieces. Switch off the flame.
- Serve over mashed potato and veggies on the side.
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