What Is Fricassee?

Last night I made a pretty good chicken fricassee with white wine and tomatoes. I make fricassee fairly often, so I thought it would be a good idea to put together a master recipe for it. But when I thought about it, I realized I had never made it the same way twice. Sometimes I use bone-in chicken, sometimes boneless, sometimes cubed. I might make it with wine or stock, and sometimes I add cream. Sometimes I thicken it with flour, sometimes not.

What is a fricassee anyway? I’m not really sure. Hang on a moment while I go check Wikipedia.

Ok, according to Wikipedia, a fricassee is “a catch-all term used to describe a stewed dish typically made with poultry, but other types of white meat (like veal, rabbit, or Cornish game hen) can be substituted.” So, it’s basically chicken stew. And the fact that I have never made it consistently one way is built into the definition.

This article delves deeper into the myriad ways we can fricassee. It seems that the most common way to make it is in a white gravy, but there are many regional variations. I guess I’ll stop searching for a consistent way to fricassee and just enjoy the results.

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