I love to spend Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, cooking a more elaborate meal for my family than I have time for on busy weeknights. Chicken fricassee is a dish I turn to often because it uses a whole chicken, which is economical, and simmers up on my stovetop, filling my house with a delicious aroma.
This week’s chicken fricassee with sherry and orange uses the classic French technique, but the sherry and orange give it a Spanish influence.
While the term “fricassee” might sound like something fancy, it’s actually the term used to describe a dish that is stewed.
Most chicken fricassees call for dredging chicken pieces (a whole chicken,
cut into 8-10 pieces) in flour and browning it in butter or oil.
Once the chicken is golden brown on both sides, liquid is added and the chicken simmers until it is very tender.
Most recipes include sautéed onions and herbs for flavor. All recipes include a liquid, whether it be wine, broth, canned tomatoes or a combination. Here, the liquid is chicken stock, sherry and orange juice. I’ve also included mushrooms, but you can omit them if you like.
Make sure you taste the sauce before serving the fricassee and add salt and pepper to taste. The combination of sherry and orange juice can be somewhat lackluster if it is under-seasoned.
I like to serve the fricassee over a bed of cooked white rice, with some crusty French bread and a big green salad on the side.
CHICKEN FRICASSEE WITH SHERRY AND ORANGE
1 whole chicken, cut up
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced, about
8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
¼ cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken stock or
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
Zest from 1 orange and juice from 2 oranges, preferably Florida juice oranges
¼ cup sherry
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cooked rice, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are wilted and mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate.
Place the flour in a paper sack or plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and shake to coat with the flour.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and brown the chicken pieces in the oil, turning after 3-4 minutes to brown the other side (you may need to do this in two batches). When browned, return the onions and mushrooms to the pan. Add the stock, orange zest and juice, sherry and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, until the chicken is tender and completely cooked. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the rice.
Makes 4 servings.