Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chicken Fricassee

Ben and I rented the move "Julie and Julia" a couple of months ago and Ben, being his usual impulsive self, immediately went out and bought Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's not a book I'd have bought but since it was here I glanced through it and saw that most recipes were 4+ pages long. I just don't have the patience for cooking with Julia but there was one recipe that didn't require me to boil pork fat and was for something I just love so I decided that a perfect Super Bowl meal would be....Chicken Fricassee! Hey, there are wings!

There were, however, challenges. First the recipe calls for a fryer. There weren't any chickens labeled as fryers in our supermarket, there weren't even any cut up chickens, only separate packages of breasts and thighs and drumsticks. I refuse to run around looking for a specific chicken so I just bought a whole "natural" chicken and cut it up so I at least had a whole chicken.
The recipe moves along nicely although it also required me to make two additional recipes, one for small white onions, the other for mushrooms. I think the real secret to French cooking is cooking everything separately and making lots dishes. However, it does mean that all the parts are cooked appropriately rather than having some over and some under cooked.
The combined three recipes call for more than a full stick of butter, an impressive quantity. But near the end she has you skim the fat off the sauce and I think I removed at least half of the butter. Wonder if it was really necessary? I also forgot to buy whipping cream but just substituted milk which seemed to be just fine. It's still extremely rich. The recipe says to strain the sauce at the end but I didn't bother because I don't mind having little pieces of onion, celery, and carrot in there. What can it hurt?
Final verdict? Excellent flavor, too much work. It's not difficult but it required me to pay attention to what I was doing for longer than I'd planned. It might be more worth the time if I could double the recipe but I really can't unless I work in batches which doesn't save much time. Will I make it again? I don't know...

1 comment:

LisaTV said...

I highly recommend the boeuf bourguinon! It also requires 2 dishes - onions and mushrooms, but oh, so worth it. And it simmers in the over for several hours so everything is cleaned up and put away by the time dinner is ready. It's really outstanding. I also liked her petite pois.