About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine, and Tomatoes | Main | Fricasseed Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Juice »

Chicken Fricassee with Red Cabbage

It is a tribute to the cooking method, that of the thirteen recipes for chicken, five of them are fricassees. Personally, I feel that I lucked into the best of the five.


We had houseguests coming for the weekend, so I decided it was a fitting time to serve this dish. They called as they boarded their plane in Minneapolis and I began cooking. As the aroma of the cabbage and onions began to fill the house, Dan wondered into the kitchen to express concern that I was smelling up the place. I told him not to worry, both of our guests love cabbage. By the time they arrived it was ready to put on the table. They left their luggage in the front hall and followed their noses to the kitchen. Dan need not have worried.


Ingredients were simple and few. First, a beautiful head of red cabbage finely shredded. I wanted the uniformity that my not-top-of-the-line food processor doesn’t offer, so I used a cross-cut blade on the mandolin. Sometimes there is no substitute for elbow grease. Hmm, I wonder if that translates as an idiom. If I said "grasso di gomito" would it make sense?


Onions and garlic are sautéed in oil until golden brown, then the cabbage is added and the pan covered. With the heat turned to a gentle simmer, the cabbage cooks for about 40 minutes.

While the cabbage cooks, the chicken is cut into pieces. Marcella recommends eight pieces, however I wanted all of the servings to be similar in size, and the breast halves were huge. So I left the thigh and leg together. That gave me four servings with a couple of wings to spare. The chicken was browned in another pan.


After browning, the dark meat of the chicken is added to the cabbage along with wine and pepper. After another 40 minutes or so of simmering, the reserved breast meat is added for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. At this point, the cabbage has dissolved into a wonderfully sweet sauce with a consistency close to course applesauce.


This hearty dish needs very little accompaniment to satisfy. Some herbed roasted carrots, a mixed green salad, and fresh bread were sufficient. Before the first bite, we toasted Marcella with glasses of Norton. As you can see, everyone enjoyed the meal.


Dessert was Black and White Macerated Grapes. (page 608) You’ll read about them and see the pictures on May 10th, 2011.

Comments (7)


This dish rocks with mashed potatoes. Something really special happens. One thing I find interesting is that Marcella calls for the onion and garlic to be cooked until the garlic is golden brown (or something to that effect) rather than looking at the state of the onions. I am always concerned that my onion is going to be burnt by that time (and some parts of it want to be). As is turns out I just have to be careful and also move the pan so the garlic gets a bit of extra attention in the oil. I also tend to cook the cabbage for closer to 50 minutes or an hour, and don't bother with the breasts going in later, they seem fine to me. A real winner.

Deborah responds:
Mmm, mashed potatoes...next time.
I think because garlic is more sensitive to the heat and onions more forgiving, that is why Marcella instructs that we watch for the browning of the garlic.

Deborah, I love the way you have written about this dish. I am ready to eat some right now, at 8AM! Love the grape dish as well; so refreshing, simple and beautiful.


I have used Marcella's book for years--quite splattered by now but there are so many recipes I have just glossed over--including this one. Your project has encouraged me to try more and more. I will definitely do this one. I often make her simpler cacciatore and sometimes the other one but never the cabbage. Next week..... Molto Grazie, Ladies and Gentlemen

Deborah, yes I would agree as well, reading it, but for some reason my garlic, when in there whole with the onion, does not want to turn golden brown before the onion thinks about burning. I have to really tip the pan to give the garlic a workout, and move the onion around a lot to stop it from burning. Perhaps my heat is too high - although then the garlic clove is even less likely to brown. In any event, I cook this dish reasonably often during winter and it turns out great.

Marcella Hazan:

Deborah, Just by looking at the photographs and skipping everything else I knew this was your post. Fabulous! I like all my chicken dishes, and if I may shed some of my modesty, I think they are among the tastiest of all Italian chicken recipes, and I do lean somewhat toward this one. David's cooking, as always, can be mystifying. How the onion can burn before the garlic becomes colored dark gold is a surprise to me!

Deborah responds: Thanks, Marcella. I'll make a deal with you...You write a new cookbook; let all your Pomodori be the exclusive tasters; and I'll photograph the food. How's that?

I smiled at your comment Jane - I made Marcella's recipe for roasted red beets on the weekend - my copy of Essentials is now covered with red fingerprints.

This looks incredible Deborah - I would never think of that combination. I can't wait to give it a try.

Hi Marcella, yes, no doubt some think I am a bumbler in the kitchen. I do not know why the garlic is stubborn in this recipe. But in any event, I can cook dish this dish successfully, and it is one of my favourites.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 28, 2010 6:04 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine, and Tomatoes .

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