We have already written about fricassée as a French dish first written down in England in 1300, and taken to mean ‘bits of fried stuff.’ Our first fricassée was a lovely light, vinegary one from Raymond Blanc; however, many (i.e. most) versions of the dish include cream and mushrooms.
Fricassée d’Anjou is named after the area of France that provides the wine for the cream sauce. Anjou is located in the central Loire valley, and it probably most famous outside France for Rose d’Anjou wine. The area also grows Cabernet, Chenin Blanc and a little Gamay.
The recipe given here is straight out of Larousse. It is devastatingly simple to do, and tastes great – if you are OK with skin-on, braised chicken (we have a social media follower and old friend who is definitely not cool with that).
- 1 medium-sized, free-range chicken
- 50g butter
- 24 button mushrooms, cleaned
- 24 pearl onions or very small, round shallots, blanched and peeled
- 1 bottle Anjou wine (e.g Rose d'Anjou or a Chenin Blanc)
- 200ml double cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley to garnish, finely chopped
Joint the chicken into even-sized pieces and season. Heat the butter in a sauté pan and brown the chicken on a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and stir them through the fat.
Pour in enough wine to just cover the chicken (any extra is chef’s treat), cover the pan, and simmer gently for 35 mins.
Once the chicken is cooked, stir in the cream and season to taste. Plate up the chicken and vegetables, pour over some of the sauce and sprinkle over some parsley to serve.