13 December 2016

Chicken fricassee with carrots (2)

In yesterday's post, I described the first part of the process of making a fricassée de poulet à la berrichonne, which is chicken and carrots in a cream sauce. This is a recipe I found in the Larousse Gastronomique food and cooking encyclopedia last week and decided to make.

I left you yesterday at the point when the chicken and carrots are cooked, but the sauce is not yet complete. Back to the recipe...

The next step is to take the chicken and carrots (above) out of the broth it has cooked in. Remember, long and slow cooking is best, to make sure that the chicken is well cooked and not dry, and the carrots are tender. Set the chicken and carrots in a warm oven while you finish the sauce.

Then pour the cooking broth into a pot and reduce it on fairly high heat until a third or even a half of it has boiled away. At that point, pour one-half to three-quarters cup of heavy cream (crème fraîche) and again let it boil gently until the sauce has reduced by a third to a half. 

If you want, you can thicken the sauce using egg yolks (a perilous operation), a roux (flour cooked in melted butter), or beurre manié (a tablespoon of flour worked into a tablespoon of soft butter). Just think of the sauce as a white gravy. Add a teaspoon or two of good white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice at the last minute, just to perk the sauce up a little and give it some acidity (you do the same with blanquette de veau, which is a kind of fricassee of veal in a cream sauce).

Pour some or all of the sauce over the cooked chicken and carrots in a serving bowl. The most refined way to serve the dish is to just coat the chicken and carrots with some sauce and then take the rest of the sauce to the table in a bowl or gravy boat. I just poured all the sauce over the other ingredients back in the dish they had cooked in. We decided to have the fricasseed chicken and carrots accompanied by green garden peas cooked with mushrooms. Those are good with the cream sauce too.


Here's the recipe for fricassée de poulet à la berrichonne that I got out of the Larousse Gastronomique and adapted slightly. « Berrichonne » is the adjective based on the name of the old Berry province of central France. It is centered more or less on the city of Bourges, and includes Sancerre on the east and the area around Selles-sur-Cher and Saint-Aignan on the west.

Fricassée de poulet aux carottes
« à la berrichonne »
1 poulet coupé en morceaux
300 g de carottes
400 ml d’eau bouillante ou de consomeé blanc
1 bouquet garni
sel et poivre
20 cl de crème

Faites revenir au beurre des carottes nouvelles, entières si elles sont petites, coupées en quartiers si elles sont grosses.

Dès que les carottes sont bien dorées, les enlever du sautoir et, dans le beurre où elles ont rissolé, mettre à revenir un poulet, détaillé par membres.

Quand les morceaux de poulet sont un peu dorés, mouillez de 400 ml d'eau bouillante ou de consommé blanc ; ajoutez les carottes et un bouquet garni. Assaisonnez et laissez cuire à couvert 45 minutes.

Retirez le poulet et les carottes du bouillon. Ajoutez la crème au bouillon ainsi que 2 jaunes d'oeufs et une faible pincée de sucre en poudre. Bien mélangez et versez sur le poulet. Ajoutez une cuillerée de vinaigre. Faites chauffer mais ne laissez pas bouillir.


  1. Your fricassee is fabulous. Here fricassee is what they call meat cooked with greens and thickened with egg and lemon sauce. Not my favourite, especially when it is pork

    1. "Here" being the Southern USA, there would probably be a ham hock or something salty and greasy in it .. :)

  2. Yes, it looks very tasty. Especially with a side of baby peas.


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