Easy and cozy all come together perfectly in a French chicken fricassée. There are almost as many variants of this French classic as there are grandmothers in France, and with good reason: chicken is first fried in butter and then stewed in white wine. This is a straightforward one-pot meal that is incredibly adaptable, requires basic ingredients, and comes together quickly. This variation of chicken fricassée, with shallots and bacon, is comforting, sweet, and salty all at once.
What is a Chicken “Fricassée”?
A fricassée is a hybrid of a stew and a sautéed meal. This traditional French dish is more of a cooking technique with numerous variants than a single recipe. The first step is to brown and crisp the meat by sautéing it in butter in a skillet. After that, white wine is added, and the meat is cooked in the oven with aromatics and vegetables until it becomes soft and flavorful.
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Although it can also be cooked with veal or rabbit, fricassée is typically made using chicken. The cook typically has the freedom to add any veggies or seasonings they choose to the remaining portion of the preparation. While onions, carrots, and mushrooms are fairly popular, the options are genuinely unlimited.
Certain traditional variations of fricassée, referred to as “à l’Ancienne” in French, require the sauce to be thickened with heavy cream towards the end. Naturally, this results in a creamier and richer sauce. In order to create a lighter meal, modern fricassée recipes frequently omit the heavy cream.
I decided to use bacon and shallots into today’s meal to produce a delectable blend of sweet and salty tastes. The bacon provides salty bits while the shallots caramelize and melt. Also, in an effort to make it lighter, I decided without adding cream. This is a flavorful, comforting, and incredibly quick and simple meal that can be made any time of year.
The ingredients you need for a Chicken Fricassée
- thighs of chicken. My preferred cut of chicken for this recipe, as well as any other wine-braised dish, is skin-on, bone-in thighs. When braised, they become fork-tender and very delicious.
- Garlic with salt. Let the chicken sit in the salt and pepper for at least half an hour.
- Bacon. This dish is traditionally made in France using “lardons,” which are thin, widely accessible slices of cured pig belly found in most grocery stores. Instead, we’re using bacon that has been sliced into short matchsticks against the grain.
- Cream. The finest butter is unsalted. To first sear and give the chicken thighs a lovely golden crispness, butter works nicely.
- Onion. to provide a tasty foundation.
- Slovos. We require eight 400g medium-sized shallots.
- recent thyme. to introduce customary French tastes.
- wine in white. Choose a fresh, dry white wine. Check out the paragraph below for further information and wine recommendations.
Overview: how to make this Chicken Fricassée
- Griddle the bacon. To begin, fry the bacon strips in a pan until they are cooked through. The fat drippings from the pan should be set aside since they will be utilized to aid in searing the chicken afterwards.
- Let the chicken sear. Put the chicken thighs and butter into the same pan with the bacon drippings. Chicken pieces should be seared for a few minutes on each sides, or until golden brown. Put away.
- Sear the garlic and shallots. Add the shallots, garlic, and more butter to the same pan. Sear until softly caramelized, a few minutes at a time.
- Chicken is added, then braised. Chicken thighs should be tucked back into the pan. After adding the fried bacon strips, white wine, and thyme sprigs, cover the pan and bake it for 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which white wine to choose for a Chicken Fricassée?
Adding white wine to your cooking is a terrific way to balance the tastes of fruit and acid. It’s crucial to select the correct wine for your food while cooking since the alcohol evaporates and the flavors intensify. Otherwise, your dish may turn out too sweet or overbearing.
I nearly always suggest choosing a crisp, dry white wine for a Chicken Fricassée—or really, for any dish that calls for wine-braised chicken. Any white wine that lacks sweetness is called a dry white. Additionally, you should select a wine that has a high level of acidity—referred described as “crisp” in wine terminology—for making chicken fricassée.
Some of my recommendations are:
- I always use Sauvignon Blanc as my go-to white wine when cooking. It offers a strong acidity.
- Pinot Grigio is a neutral white wine that is highly adaptable and simple to cook with.
- Chardonnay without oak aging: this wine has a hint more body than the previous two.
- Dry Marsala: it produces a wonderful caramelization and adds delightful nutty overtones.
- Dry sparkling wine is a refreshing and light choice. You won’t realize this was a sparkling wine as the bubbles disappear during cooking.
In any event, stay away from using sweet white wines (such as Riesling or Sauternes), since they will cause the meal to finish too caramelized or sweet. Avoid rich, full-bodied, and/or oaky white wines as well, such as Oaked Chardonnay, as they might acquire harsh undertones when cooked.
Last but not least, try to get a bottle that is still drinkable rather than one that is “cheap”; I promise you that it will make all the difference. Put away the grocery store “cooking wines”!
Can I omit the white wine from this recipe?
I do not advise leaving out the white wine because it will significantly alter the dish’s taste. Additionally, the majority of the alcohol in wine is often cooked off when it is cooked, so don’t worry about it.
Can I use chicken legs?
Absolutely, yes! You may use skin-on chicken legs in place of the chicken thighs.
More Cooking notes:
- To enable the salt to seep into the meat, I advise salting the chicken 30 to 1 hour in advance. I suggest reading the book Salt, Fat, Acid, if you’re interested in learning more about how salt is utilized to develop and improve flavor in food, particularly for meats.
- This dish requires the chicken to be kept skin-on. First, fry the chicken in the pan with the skin side down. The skin’s fat will melt and render into the pan, where it will later be utilized as a sauce foundation and to caramelize the shallots and garlic. It will play a major role in developing the flavors in this recipe. After the food is presented, you have the option to take the skin off of it right there on your plate.
- Utilize a skillet, pot, or pan that can be used in the oven or on the stovetop.
- To refrigerate: You may keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days by placing them in an airtight container.
- To freeze: Make sure the food cools fully before putting it in an airtight freezer-safe container. When ready to serve, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and reheat, preferably over medium-low heat on the stovetop.
More recipes to try:
4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 slices bacon, cut in fine strips
2 tbsp (28.5g) unsalted butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 shallots (about 400g total), peeled and cut in half (or quarters if too big)
7-8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup (79ml) dry white wine
- 2 to 3 hours prior to cooking, rinse the chicken thighs under cold water and pat-dry thoroughly with paper towel. Season each piece with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside and let rest to near room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F (180°C) with a rack in the middle.
- Heat a sizable skillet or frying pan that is suitable for the oven to medium-high heat. When the bacon strips are fully cooked and beginning to crisp up, add them and simmer, stirring periodically, for about 7 to 9 minutes. Keep the fat drippings in the pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. When the butter sizzles, place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, in the pan. Cook for about 8-10 minutes (uncovered) until the chicken skin is golden to golden brown. Flip the chicken thighs and cook for 6-7 more minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Keep the chicken drippings in the pan.
- Lower the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. When the butter sizzles, add the shallots and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender and lightly caramelized. As you cook the shallots, some may separate and some may keep their layers together – that is perfectly fine. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan. Pour the white wine into the pan, top chicken pieces with bacon and thyme sprigs, season to taste with extra black pepper (optional) and transfer the pan into the oven for 30 minutes (uncovered).