Chicken is browned and cooked in a creamy blend of savory ingredients like rendered fat, mushrooms, and white wine in this hearty, traditional recipe.
Chef John’s Chicken Fricassee
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups thickly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup diced yellow onion
½ cup sliced shallots (Optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups white wine
6 sprigs thyme
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
- On both sides, salt the chicken thighs.
- Chicken should be placed skin-side-down into a skillet of hot vegetable oil that has been heated to a medium-high temperature. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the fat has rendered and there is an excellent sear. About 2 minutes after flipping, heat the opposite side until it is similarly charred. Place aside.
- Sliced mushrooms are added to the pan along with the rendered fat, which is left in the pan. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until browned. Add the onion, shallots, and garlic, and simmer, stirring periodically, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender and transparent. Add flour and stir for about a minute to thicken the mixture after adding pepper and cayenne.
- White wine should be added and cooked while stirring to achieve alcohol evaporation. Increase the heat to high and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half.
- Over high heat, add the bay leaf, thyme, and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and throw the chicken back into the skillet with any accumulated juices, skin side up. For 45 minutes, cover and boil gently while turning the thighs over halfway through.
- Turn thighs back to skin side up after removing lid. Cook the chicken until it’s cooked and the sauce has reduced even more while simmering it uncovered and sometimes basting. Add more water or broth if the pan becomes dry before the chicken is tender.
- When the sauce has reached the appropriate thickness, stir in the cream. If chicken is already tender, heat can be increased to medium to reduce cream more quickly. Sauce can be reduced to a thick sauce or served thin and runny. Serve after adding fresh thyme.