Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cooking Project: Chicken Fricassee

So I haven't posted any cooking related adventures in a while, not because I haven't been cooking, but because nothing I've done has seemed all that "blog worthy". I actually made both the migas and braised chicken recipes I linked to, but since they were already so well documented on Smitten Kitchen and Pioneer Woman Cooks respectively, my minor comments didn't seem worth a separate post. I also made some grilled cheese sandwiches from a recipe that I got out of a Cook's Country (that they presumably sent out to me due to my participating in a focus group)... but c'mon... it's grilled cheese. Even I can't really screw that up. Other then that, I received the latest Cook's Illustrated, but it's mostly grilling... and since I have no grill... it was mainly useless (though interesting reading) and didn't really inspire me to cook anything.

Despite all this, one thought I had while eating Kay's Braised Chicken did actually move me along the cooking path... I was admiring how well seasoned and tender the chicken was, but felt that it could have really benefited from a sauce being made from the braising liquid... which as it was, was fairly soupy. I had some thoughts... maybe reduce it? Add in some flour or cornstarch? But still not being very confident in my ability to improvise, I thought instead to look for another poultry braise and see if anybody had done something similar to what I had in mind... I had in my head some ideas about chicken stew recipes that might be close... Country Captain Chicken or Chicken Fricassee were my initial thoughts, and while neither turned out to be exactly braises (indeed fricassee is a poach) they both seemed interesting to cook and in the ballpark of what I was looking for. Country Captain will have to wait though, as I'm more in the mind of French comfort food these days.

It'll be interesting since it's such an old skool and unpopular dish... it's the embodiment of what people think of when they criticize French food... meat covered in cream sauces... but what's the worst that can happen? I'll throw it away and know that fricassees aren't for me. I have a feeling, though, that it's a classic for a reason... modern palate or no.

photo used under a Creative Commons license by flickr user panduh