Stewed, slow-seared, simmered, braised… however or whatever you cook or call the fricassee method of cooking doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the result of one fine all-in-one pot of tender, gravy laden chicken meal that is worthy of a better name than say, stewed, simmered, etc. and fricassee is just fine with me.
There are, like most recipes, so many ways to prepare this dish. The Greeks tend to use pork or lamb, the French are partial to poultry, maybe a rabbit ever now and then, Germans like veal as well as chicken and down in the bayou country, Cajuns enjoy just about any wild animal as long as the pot contains the holy trinity. We southerners tend to use older hens and top it off with dumplings or biscuit dough, something extra to sop up that delicious creamy gravy.The stewing hen works well in this type of dish because of the slow simmering. A broiler/fryer is just as good and may not require such a long time in cooking.
My recipe varies from the traditional southern way where toward the end, baking powder type biscuit dough in placed on the chicken pieces. I like the ease of a drop dumpling, one with fresh minced chives. Enjoy!
Chicken Fricassee with Chive Dumplings
about 6 servings
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) margarine or butter
1 -4 pound hen (or 3 to 4 lb broiler), cut into 8 pieces
2 cup chicken broth
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 cup milk
Dash of black pepper
Chive Dumplings –below
Heat margarine in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until melted. Add the chicken and cook until brown on all sides, not crowding the pan. Drain away any oil and add the broth, carrots, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, thyme, cloves and bay leaf. Heat to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer about 45 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken to a warm platter and keep warm. Remove bay leaf and cloves. In a small bowl, mix flour, milk and pepper until smooth and stir into the Dutch oven. Heat to a boil stirring constantly and cook about a minute. Reduce heat and return chicken to the pot. Cover and prepare dumplings below.
Drop by rounded tablespoon dumpling mixture onto the pieces of hot chicken, not directly on the liquid or gravy. Cover tightly and let dumplings steam about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked and dry on top.
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
2/3 cup milk
Mix the flour, parsley, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and cut in the margarine until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the milk.