Lisa sent me this recipe from Food52 for Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms and Thyme as something to experiment with.
It’s a hit here, but with a family of eight, four of whom are teenagers, we have to make a few adjustments to keep it in the regular rotation. Please note that none of the changes are criticisms. These are modifications for different lifestyles.
First, I’m not a white wine drinker; I found a 500mL of Black-box Chardonnay. Classy? Absolutely not. But it fits on our refrigerator’s condiment shelf, and I will have it for other recipes. I hate buying a bottle of wine for 1/2 a cup and then navigating around it in the fridge. Uh, to be clear, I am a red wine
The original recipe calls for a whole chicken. The author’s goal is to use the back and wings to make stock. This is a great use of extra chicken parts. However, we don’t have enough chicken parts as written. I adjusted the recipe to use chicken thighs.
When buying chicken thighs in an economy pack, the time in the original recipe may need to be significantly adjusted as the thighs’ size can vary significantly within a pack and from what will be found in the 3 – 4 pound chicken recommended in the original recipe. To accommodate this, you must use a cooking thermometer, and the chicken needs to reach 165°F to be safe.
Please do not skip temping the chicken. The smallest thighs we had were done in the original 12 minutes, but the largest took nearly 20.
Remember, stoves vary significantly if you are cooking with gas or induction heat, you have much more control over how quickly you can increase or decrease the heat of your pan than those of us who are limited to electric ranges.
- 3 - 4 pounds of chicken thighs or leq quarters
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 16 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, washed, dried, halved or quartered (the smallest can be left whole)
- 3 - 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 - 5 cups broccoli florets (you could sub a bag of baby spinach)
- Arrange thighs on a baking sheet, skin side up and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- In a large, deep skillet with a heavy lid or a dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until the foaming begins to subside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Place your chicken thighs skin side down in the skillet and cook for seven minutes. Keep a close eye; we're browning, not burning.
- Turn the chicken and cook for another two minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside (if your thighs are particularly thick, you can reduce your cooking time by placing them in a 350 oven while you work on your sauce). Be sure to leave the skin side up. Add your onions to the pan and use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up the browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent (no longer white).
- Add your last tablespoon of butter and mushrooms, and cook until they become fragrant.
- Add the garlic and thyme, cooking until they, too, become fragrant
- Sprinkle the flour evenly over the dish and stir for one minute to prevent clumps
- Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Then stir in the stock and add the bay leaves.
- Add the chicken back to the pan. Do your best to ensure that the chicken is in contact with the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for 15 minutes and temp the thickest thigh. If it is not 165°F, continue cooking until that temperature is reached.
- Remove the chicken to your serving dish and place it somewhere warm
- Stir the cream into the pan, bring it back to a simmer, and let the sauce reduce for a couple of minutes.
- Add the broccoli to the pan and cover, cooking until the broccoli is done to your preference.
- Pour over the chicken and serve.