Make this chicken fricassee recipe, aka Hühnerfrikassee, and you'll think you're back in Oma's kitchen.
It's interesting how some foods bring back memories of one's childhood. Especially when these memories are pleasant, these foods become comfort foods. Chicken fricassee is one of these, for sure. German food at its best.
It's one of those convenient one-pot meals you can throw together quickly using whatever you may have laying around. That’s the best kind of meal in my books!
Made with humble ingredients like chicken and hearty vegetables simmered in a simple yet rich and creamy white sauce, this delicious dish truly is one of the simplest, ultimate, nostalgic comfort foods.
I've added a SUPER QUICK version of this already easy chicken fricassee recipe in the hints below, as well! Perhaps you'll pick up a cooked chicken at the deli of your local grocery store just to make this. Don't forget to use the carcass to make chicken soup later. :)
Chicken fricassee originated in France dating all the way back to the early 1300s. The first record of this classic dish is found in the French cookbook Le Viandier, which was published circa 1300.
The classic French fricassee eventually spread around Europe and eventually North America thanks to Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Though it is typically considered French cuisine, there is a traditional German version that is quite popular and featured on many German restaurant menus.
With as many variations as there are German Omas, it was often a meal that consisted of leftover veggies and anything else found in the fridge.
Fricassee is a French term derived from the French words frire (meaning to fry) and casser (meaning to break into pieces).
Fricassee is a dish made up of pieces of meat and veggies that are lightly sautéed in butter and oil, and then stewed in a rich and savory white wine cream sauce.
The traditional meat used in fricassee is chicken for its flavor, versatility, and ability to pair well with just about any vegetable.
Although there are variations, French chicken fricassee calls for skin-on and bone-in chicken pieces sautéed with sliced onion, carrot, and celery, then stewed in chicken stock, white wine, and a bouquet of fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, and bay leaf.
Then, using a tempering process, egg yolks and heavy cream are added to the strained cooking liquid to make a rich and creamy sauce which is then seasoned with nutmeg and lemon juice.
It is often served over white rice or buttered egg noodles and garnished with braised sweet pearl onions and stewed button mushrooms.
The traditional German way of making chicken fricassee is to cook the whole chicken in water with added veggies such as celery root, carrot, leek, celery, and onion to create wonderfully flavored meat and a delicious broth.
Once the chicken is cooked, the skin and bones are removed and the meat is cut into pieces. The cooking liquid is strained and the resulting broth is used along with egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, white wine, nutmeg, and lemon juice to make a wonderfully delicious white sauce.
German chicken fricassee is traditionally served with mushrooms, green peas, green or white asparagus, and/or carrots.
As yummy as the traditional German way of making chicken fricassee is, it is rather time consuming. My German chicken fricassee is much easier and quicker to make.
My recipe is simple, yet so delicious.
Just sautéed skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), sautéed mushrooms, and frozen peas cooked in chicken broth; heavy cream and seasonings are added to make a delicious creamy white sauce.
Easy peasy German comfort food at its best.
Another way to make this recipe a little more German is by adding some true German ingredients, herbs, and spices! Like our well-known white asparagus… YUM! This will add a nice crunch and an extra boost of flavor that will pair perfectly with that creamy sauce.
Herbs and spices are always something fun to play around with. Try mixing in some different herbs and spices into your version of this fricassee to make it your own yummy, special German creation!
Or add a little white wine or lemon juice to add even more flavor to that lovely creamy sauce.
What vegetables or wine to use however, is all up to the chef... That's you!
Now what to serve with it? Well, that's totally up to preference! You could go classic and serve it with rice, or go comforting with creamy mashed potatoes. Or perhaps some pasta like my delicious homemade German egg noodles?
And what's better than some delicious homemade crusty bread to help mop up that delectable sauce?
The best part about a recipe like this is you can alter it to make it completely your own.
This question is quite frequently asked, "What is the big difference between a chicken stew and a chicken fricassee?" Or maybe you're thinking, "But Oma, aren't they the same thing?"
The answer is simple, though they seem very similar, they are indeed very different! It's really all in the chicken! Depending on how you cook it that is. A stew and a fricassee use different cooking methods.
When you are making a stew, the chicken and all the veggies are cooked from the start in broth or water.
But when making your fricassee, the chicken and veggies are first pan-fried before simmering to perfection.
I remember my Mutti serving this over a bed of rice and her creamed peas and carrots on the side. Pure comfort food!
In the photo above, I've made the chicken fricassee with just mushrooms. Hubby and I LOVE freshly ground black pepper, but if you don't want the dark specks, then add white pepper instead.
01.27.2022 revision update
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