Chicken Fricassée with vinegar & herbs

Recipe from Foolproof French Cookery by Raymond Blanc.

A little jewel of family cuisine. Again, the success of this dish depends very much on the quality of the ingredients. Try to choose free range or organic chicken and also a good red wine vinegar: the best I’ve found was red wine Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar from Waitrose. The cooking time depends entirely on the sourcing of the chicken – factory produced will take 15 – 20 minutes, free range/organic 30 – 40 minutes. The dish can be prepared one day in advance and then reheated in the oven at 150°C.

Chikfricasse1 MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the chicken fricassée
4 Organic or free range chicken drumsticks
4 Organic or free range thighs
5 tbsp Good-quality red wine vinegar
15g Unsalted butter
100ml Dry white wine
4 Garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1 Ripe medium tomato, finely chopped
2 Sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sautéed potatoes
4 Medium potatoes, such as Desiree, Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled (if organic, leave the skins on) and cut into 2cm dice
10g Unsalted butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 Small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ Shallot, finely chopped
1 pinch Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method

Browning the chicken

Pre-heat the oven to 150˚C/300˚/Gas Mark 2. On a high heat, in a large casserole, fry the chicken pieces in the olive oil for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Season with 4 piches of salt and 2 pinches of pepper.

Glazing the chicken

Spoon out the fat from the casserole. Add the vinegar and butter and boil for 10 seconds, until the vinegar has reduced. Stir to coat the chicken pieces in the reduced vinegar and butter.

Baking the chicken

Add the white wine, bring to the boil for a few seconds, then add the garlic, tomato and tarragon. Cover the casserole, transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes (the liquid should not boil but should cook at avery low simmer, with just one or two bubbles barely breaking the surface). The chicken will be juicy and tender.

Sautéeing the potatoes

On a high heat, in a large frying pan, fry the diced potatoes in the olive oil for 12-15 minsutes, stirring frequently. Until golden brown and tender.  Season with 4 pinches of sea salt and 2 pinches of pepper. Reduce the heat and add the butter, being careful not to let it burn.  Finally, stir in the parsley and shallot. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Finishing the chicken and serving

Remove the chicken from the oven. Taste and correct the seasoning if required. Skim any fat from the surface. Arrange the chicken pieces and sautéed potatoe on a large platter or 4 serving plates and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the cooking juices separately.


Foolproof French Cookery

Recipe from Foolproof French Cookery by Raymond Blanc, published by BBC Books.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2002.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.