Fricasseed Chicken with Egg and Lemon, Marches Style
Remember, me? I'm the sub. Though, really bench-warmer feels more like it. Everyone is so busy and happy cooking, that no one was looking for my help ... until now.
And honestly, I don't think Cindy really needed my help, I think she just felt sorry for me but I don't mind, cause I got to cook and tell you all about it.
First off, I have to say, I'm still unclear what the term "Fricasseed" means...so of course I looked it up in Webster's "a dish of cut-up pieces of meat (as chicken) or vegetables stewed in stock and served in a white sauce" so I'm thinking, similar to a braise - right? Well, except this was done on the stove, and I pretty much cooked the liquid away, so maybe not a braise, we'll just stick with fricassee.
Enough contemplation - on to the recipe.
First off, it calls for a 3 - 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces. I bought mine already cut up (actually, I had one left over from Rosh Hashanah that I used). Now normally, being the fat conscious person that I am, I would have skinned those pieces, but I didn't. Though, I will the next time I make this dish (and yes, skip the foreshadowing, I definitely liked this dish enough to make it again).
Second, luckily, I had some of Marcella's homemade meat broth in the freezer from my only other time subbing, when I made the Pasta e Fagioli soup a few months ago, so although Marcella says you could use bouillon dissolved in a cup of water, I had her stock on hand and used it. Though, I did wonder if it would be acceptable to use a canned stock instead of the bouillon.
So I threw my onions into the pan with the butter and when they were a nice golden color, I added my chicken.
Then, I waited. See you have to brown the chicken and I can be impatient, so I forced me to putz around a bit, emptied the garbage, peeled some acorn squash, then I turned the chicken. It looked pretty brown to me. Oh, and while I'm here, you may notice that there are only 6 pieces of chicken as opposed to 8. I didn't put the wings in the pan because I was afraid it would be too overcrowded.
Now Marcella has you take the chicken breasts out and and cook the remaining pieces for 40 minutes and then return the breasts for the last 10 minutes (or how ever long it takes for you to finish cooking the meat and cook off the liquid - it took me about 15 minutes). That concerned me - I didn't realize that the chicken breast cooks that much quicker than the thigh but it does; it was fine with less time.
Now here's where I may have messed up. Marcella says there should be no "liquid" left in the pan. She has you turn up the heat in the end to get rid of the "watery juices" in the pan, if any remained. Now there was liquid left in my pan, but it didn't seem to be juices, as much as melting fat from the skin that was falling off the chicken pieces (plus the chicken had started to stick to the pan). So I went ahead and added the egg and lemon mixture at the end, which I now think may have gotten "watered" down a bit. If you look at the red arrows, you can see where the lemon-egg mixture formed a pretty glaze and I wonder if that should have been all over the chicken?
Either way though, it was really good. The chicken was flavorful and tender and this was easy to prepare. I may actually enjoy it better than roast chicken and I will be making it again. Here's the finished product (which by the way, I served with a bit of acorn squash roasted with a little hazelnut oil, salt, pepper, and a bit of maple syrup - yum).
And a close-up.
Oh, and so far no signs of salmonella poisoning from the egg. Personally, I think it does cook, at least as much as it does when you make a custard for ice cream. But I'll let you know if I do end up sick. ;D
Me again, back the next morning to report no one got sick - so no worries on those eggs now!