A good recipe gets passed along from cook to cook and friend to friend. A great recipe is one that allows you to tweak it to your own tastes without altering the essential concept. Having said that, I found this recipe on my cousin’s food blog, I CAN COOK THAT – http://www.icancookthat.org. and she found it in Food and Wine. I was immediately intrigued by the title of the recipe which included the word Fricasse. Because here I am, a woman of a certain age and beyond, and I wasn’t sure just what fricassee actually meant! We had Chicken Fricasse in Cuba and that’s the only time I can remember seeing it on a menu and certainly, growing up in an Italian household the word never was spoken! Maybe some dishes were made in that manner but were never referred to as something fricassee.
I read through the recipe, delighted by its simplicity and knew the only ingredient I would change were the Morrels. I used some Morrels this past year and wasn’t happy with their texture but since I love Porcini mushrooms, I knew that’s what I would use. Dried Porcini Mushrooms have a rich, earthy (but not dirty) taste and they infuse any dish they are in with a lovely fragrance and flavor.
Photo from I CAN COOK THAT. org
3 TBS unsalted butter – divided
4 bone-in Chicken thighs
Salt and Pepper
6 small Shallots, roughly chopped
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup water* plus chicken broth
Juice and zest on one lemon
Reconstitue mushrooms 30 minutes prior to making the meal; Put mushrooms in a cup of boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain mushrooms reserving the liquid. Roughly chop up mushrooms.
Melt 2 TBS butter in braising pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pan and cook 4 minutes on each side till browned. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
Measure the reserved mushroom liquid and if less than a cup, add some chicken broth. Add to pan and cover and simmer on low heat till chicken is cooked through – 15 minutes. After chicken is cooked, transfer to plate.
Add lemon juice and zest to the pan and cook over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl remaining 1 TBS butter into the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Pour sauce over the chicken and serve OR I like to use my braising pan as my serving dish, so I put the chicken back in the pan and served it that way. The sauce was so delicious that I spooned over the mashed Red Potatoes too.
My husband loved the meal and he says he doesn’t really like chicken thighs (ha ha ha). He also remarked about the sauce and asked me what was in it. So I told him about the butter and reminded him about Julia Child and her passion for cooking with butter AND the fact that every great chef uses butter and don’t you believe otherwise!