Monday, February 1, 2010

Lou's Just OK Chicken Fricasee

Not the most excellent...but good. Better than edible. What it really is is a dish your grandmother used to make to feed an army of starving mouths living on a budget. I tried to update it (still a starving mouth, but not living on too tight a budget) but the result is the same: it's chicken in a pot with veggies.

A little - well, a lot - more tender and healthier too. I would venture to call it kid friendly if your kids like carrots, celery, and turnips (which you can leave out). Best of all this is SUPER fast and easy; comes together in one pot in under 30 minutes and slow cooks for hours in the oven at low temp.

1 whole chicken breast, bone in, skin on
3 cups chicken broth
2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 "poultry" bouquet garni*
6 carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
6 celery stalks, chopped into 1" pieces
1 turnip, baseball sized, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1.5 TBS flour
Salt & pepper
Canola oil

*You can buy a poultry herb mix usually all done up in those plastic herb boxes. If not, make your own with 1 sprig rosemary, 5 sprigs time, and 5 sprigs sage.

On a cutting board, place the chicken breast, skin up, and smash once with the base of your palm or a small sauce pan. All you want to do is break the bone (not yours, the chickens, dip-shit) down the middle so it lays a little flat. Sprinkle the breast with about 1 TSP of salt. In a five quart Dutch oven, heat up 1 TBS of canola oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken breast, skin side down, and brown for about 3 minutes. Flip over onto the bone side and cook another 3 minutes. Brown on each side as well. Set the breast aside, reserving the fat in the pot.

Reduce heat to medium and add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Then add the flour and stir into the onions; it will become pasty. Cook like this for about a minute.

Add one cup of the chicken broth and stir, the broth will become thickened. Add another cup, mix, and then the final cup. If after the second addition the broth is very thin - like soup - only add another half cup.

Bring to a light boil and add the bouquet garni. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the carrots, celery, and turnips. Bring back to a simmer and remove the bouquet. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Halve the chicken breast and cut each piece into thirds. Add to the pot, stir to mix, cover, and place in the oven for about 3 hours or longer.

The chicken will be very tender when finished. Remove as many bones as you can - they'll just come right off - but warn everyone that some smaller ones might still be present. Serve with noodles or rice.

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