If you have never heard of this dish let’s say it together “Chicken Frick-a-see”, that’s it you got it. This is a German dish but I have made it more American style because of a few small changes. In the traditional dish of a creamy white sauce with chicken and vegetables, the asparagus are white not green. Chopped onions are not usually found in the sauce and you wouldn’t saute the mushrooms. The mushrooms used would be canned and so would the asparagus, well at least that is what my recipe book called for. Fresh vegetables are always better than canned and so that is why I made those changes. A whole chicken is usually used and cooked stock like with carrots, celery and onion but for time sake I skipped ahead and used just breast meat and a quick stock. If you prefer you may use canned stock or broth to cook your chicken in for even more flavor.
Why did I choose to make a German dish? Well, we are hosting a German foreign exchange student for the school year, her name is Michelle and she was craving some food from home. Michelle knew I liked to cook before she came here so she brought me a gift of a German cookbook (so sweet) and this was one of the recipes in the book that she said was her favorite. After reading through the recipe I decided that this was a basic creamy white sauce dish with mild flavors of vegetables and chicken. It seems like a lot of ingredients for a simple dish but it really isn’t difficult. I enjoyed the background flavor the cloves gave the cooking broth of the chicken. Michelle helped me with making this dish by prepping the veggies and I had her taste testing as we went along. Michelle said everyone’s Chicken Fricassee is a little different and mine tasted like her Grandmother’s, I took that to be a good compliment. We have thoroughly enjoyed having Michelle here and learning more about her culture and sharing ours with her. She is a joy to have and I feel like she is one of our children now too. I may share some of her other favorite recipes in the future on my blog since we had a great time cooking together. I hope you might try something a little different in your cooking repertoir but not so different that you can’t make it.
Chicken Fricassee (American style)
4 boneless chicken breast
1 bay leaf
1/2 onion left whole
5 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups water
For the Sauce:
2 T. butter
1/2 onion chopped
5 T. flour
2 1/2 cup cooking liquid from chicken
6 oz. fresh mushrooms quartered
1 small package of frozen asparagus or fresh where available
1 tsp. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
2 egg yolks
4 T. whipping cream
fresh ground pepper
Step 1: In a large pot put the water, chicken, bay leaf, cloves, salt and half the onion in. To make it easier to keep a hold of the cloves you may poke them into the onion. Cook on low heat covered until it boils then simmer until the chicken is cooked through. I used boneless skinless but you may use bone in chicken and any parts you like, or even a whole chicken just make sure you add more water.
Step 2: When chicken is done pour the cooking liquid through a sieve and set aside. Let chicken cool.
Making the sauce:
Step 3: Melt the butter in a large skillet and cook the onions and mushrooms over medium heat. When onions are translucent, sprinkle the flour over the onions and mix it in until it browns a bit then add 2 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid a little at a time stirring until you have a nice sauce with no lumps, let it come to a boil then let simmer for 5 mins.
Step 4: While the sauce simmers defrost the asparagus in the microwave and slice chicken into bite size pieces. Drain any liquid from the asparagus. Now add the asparagus and chicken to the sauce.
Step 5: Add the sugar and lemon juice to the sauce and stir. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream together and stir in slowly until it thickens. Do not let the sauce boil again, season with salt and pepper and add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. Serve over hot rice or egg noodles.
Recipe adapted from Dr. Oetker German Cooking Today