Showing posts with label chicken fricassee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken fricassee. Show all posts

16 February 2014

Patricia Wells' Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives


Fricasee of Chicken, cooking in the skillet

This is one of the most popular recipes I've posted. It's worth a repeat, just in time for Sunday dinner. From 2007:

When I was a student at UW-Madison in the 1980s, everyone was talking about alumna Jane Brody, the New York Times writer who was making a name for herself writing cookbooks about healthy food.

15 April 2007

Fricassée de Poulet a l'Ail et l'Ail Confit

Fricassée de Poulet a l'Ail et l'Ail Confit

I should have made this last night. Instead I made another recipe, misreading a step, and well, coming up with something that had it's good points, but needs tweaking.

The recipe below is from Patricia Wells' "The Provence Cookbook."

Fricassee of Chicken with Garlic and Sweet Garlic Confit
  • 1 fresh chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine (Viognier is recommended)
  • sweet garlic confit

Make the confit first. Peel cloves from four heads of garlic (not as bad as it sounds!). Cook the garlic in a saucepan covered with two cups of milk. Bring to a simmer and drain. Return garlic to saucepan and cover with two more cups of milk. Cook over medium heat until garlic is soft. Drain and refrigerate. You can make this ahead of time.

Now for the fricassee: Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet. Brown the chicken, about five minutes on each side. If you use eight pieces, you can do this in batches. I used four breasts, so I was able to do it all at once. When chicken is turning golden, remove and set aside.

Add the garlic cloves to the fat. Reduce heat and add the chicken. Cover and cook for at least 20 minutes, turning the chicken with tongs for even browning and cooking. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, cover with foil and set aside.

Drain skillet of fat, keeping the garlic cloves in the skillet. Add the wine and the garlic confit. This will deglaze the pan. Cook, uncovered, making a purée from the garlic and wine. Pour the purée over your chicken and serve.

I served it with roasted peppers and the rest of the Viognier, some very heady wine.

This is classic chicken. It tasted the way chicken ought to taste. Tomorrow I'll make a chicken salad with hard-boiled eggs and olives.

The wine We used Pepperwood Grove Viognier, which tastes of melon and peach with an unusual vanilla-custard finish. My husband tasted pear, I tasted lemon.

25 February 2007

Spicy Chicken Breasts With Ratatouille Vegetables in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Winter has finally come to my corner of the Upper Midwest. It hit around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and has been going full force. Schools are closed, kids are inside and the only sound you hear is the cacophony of snowblowers and the occasional freight train trundling through town. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home are doing that.

After Blowing Us Out Round One on Sunday, my husband made chili. Hot stuff. I made something similarly spicy cobbled together from what was on hand and in the larder: Chicken Breasts with Ratatouille Vegetables in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

It's a fricassee kind of dish, served with strips of eggplant, peppers and zucchini. Since I'm off carbs for two weeks, I had to make up for that sacrifice with protein and heat.

For the Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • dash sel de fleur
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 1/2 cup salt-free chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


Toss seasonings and chicken in a plastic bag to coat. Then, use a heavy skillet to lightly brown chicken in olive oil. When chicken is barely golden brown, remove it from pan; set aside. Add onion and garlic and brown lightly, adding a little more olive oil, if necessary. Cook for about three minutes. Pour in tomatoes and water. Add red pepper. You may chop this into small pieces, or even mince it. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 30-45 minutes under low heat. Since I was using dried thyme, I added it midway through the cooking process.

I always use a meat thermometer to check chicken prepared this way, or any way, for that matter.

I kept checking the sauce and adding more spices. There is no prescribed amount, really; it's whatever you can tolerate.

For the Vegetables

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 peppers, green and red
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fleur de sel

While the chicken was cooking, the vegetables were roasting in a 450-degree oven. These I prepared earlier in the day, working with the eggplant first, cutting it into strips, but not peeling it. I sprinkled it with sel de fleur and let it sit for about an hour to remove water. I almost always use a mix of salt and herbes de Provence (above). The peppers and the zucchini were also cut in strips. I drizzled the vegetables with olive oil before putting them in the oven.

I timed it so the vegetables and chicken were done at the same time. Usually, I get the timing all messed up, and one thing ends up being cold or overcooked.

Having nothing else to do (well, nothing else I had to do), enabled me to get it just right.

Let's hear it for snow days.

28 January 2007

Patricia Wells' Fricasee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives

When I was a student at UW-Madison in the 1980s, everyone was talking about alumna Jane Brody, the New York Times writer who was making a name for herself writing cookbooks about healthy food.

I very much wanted to write about food, but was not sure how to start. I wrote my first “how-to” feature about baking bread, which at that time was one of the few things I knew how to do.

Somewhere along the line, I heard someone say, “Yes, Jane’s doing very well but there’s another grad over in Paris who is doing some interesting things with French cooking.”

That was Patricia Wells.

It took me a while to put two and two together — to connect the name Patricia Wells with the J-school alumna I'd heard about — but I have followed her career and cheered her many successes.

And I’ve made my share of Patricia’s recipes. I have never known one to fail.

Sunday we had Patricia’s Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives. It's from The Provence Cookbook, published in 2004. I did not have a whole chicken and did not feel like leaving the house to get one, so I used two chicken breasts and halved the recipe, which calls for tomatoes, onions, green olives and capers.

Here is the recipe (scroll down).

It's easy: Season the chicken and brown, then remove from the pan and soften the onions. You then add everything else and simmer over low heat for an hour. I served this with penne pasta flavored with butter, truffle breakings and a dash of grated Gruyere.

"Ah, the tastes!" my husband exclaimed after the first bite. "And the chicken is so tender."

I've said it before, you cannot go wrong following a Patricia Wells recipe.