FROM SEA TO FRICASSEE
I love chicken. I dream about chicken. I blog about chicken. Yet I’ve never had chicken fricassee. What is fricassee anyway? I looked it up in ol’ Websters…. fricassee: a dish of cut-up pieces of meat (as chicken or veal) stewed in stock and served in a white sauce.
And, in these sour economic times, chicken is still a healthful way to feed a family cheaply and that’s sweet! But you can’t keep eating the same chicken dishes two-three nights a week, right? That’s just boring!
So, Richard decided to experiment and make something he’d never made before… Yup – chicken fricassee. But, knowing Richard, it wasn’t going to be just your ordinary chicken fricassee (is any chicken fricassee ‘ordinary?’), he opted for chicken fricassee w/ citrus confit from an Alain Ducasse (one of the world’s top chefs)…a recipe he found in the May 31, 2010 issue of Wine Spectator.
Well, I have to confess… chicken fricassee w/ citrus confit is a comforting, colorful, culinary confection that I consumed with delicious affection.
Chicken Fricassee w/ Citrus Confit
Chef Alain Ducasse, Le Louis XV, Monaco
3 tablespoons sugar
2 spring onions
1 bulb fennel
1 whole chicken, cut in 10 pieces
salt and pepper, ground and whole
pinch of coriander seeds
2 cardamom seeds
Juice two of the oranges, the lime, and half the pomelo; reserve the juice.
Peel ALL of the fruit and cut the zest only (discard the pith) into thick matchsticks.
Place the zest in a pot, cover w/ cold water, boil, strain, and cool. Repeat twice. Place the zest, sugar and juice in a pot, and cook over low heat for 2 hours. Set aside.
Segment the previously peeled lemon, 2 oranges and remaining pomelo half (full disclosure: since we can't eat grapefruit or pomelo, Richard left it out)
Cut the spring onion in half, then on a bias cut the dark green sections into half-inch pieces. Cut the fennel into small dice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop coriander and cardamom and place in a cheesecloth sachet.
Salt and pepper the chicken...
and sear over medium-high heat in a cocotte w/ olive oil until skin is golden. Remove the chicken, and reserve. In the same cocotte, sweat the white portion of the spring onions and the fennel for 3 minutes, then add the citrus segments, 2 pinches of whole black pepper, and the sachet.
Deglaze the cocotte w/ a ½ cup of water, add the chicken
cover, and place in the oven.
After 16 minutes, check the breast pieces. If they’re done, remove them, and cook the legs another 10 minutes. When done, remove the sachet, chicken and spring onions, and reserve. Crush the ingredients that remain in the cocotte, then add half of the citrus zest and the green sections of the spring onions. Add salt and pepper, return the chicken and spring onions to the cocotte, and stir. Serve in the cocotte w/ a side dish of whole wheat couscous spiked w/ Espelette pepper or paprika and tossed w/ a handful of basil chiffonade.
What’s a cocotte you might ask? Well, one definition is a “prostitute,” but since that doesn’t apply in this particular culinary case, I think the “large, deep pot” definition (we used our Le Creuset pot) holds forth.
Check out some of my other chicken blogs (reviews & recipes):
Sideways Sunday - 3/16/10
Meeting the Chicken Challenge - 3/1/10
The Cassoulet Christmas Waltz - 12/30/09
Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta - 11/20/09
Chicken On The Cheap - 11/3/09
Gourmet Group - 8/24/09
A Taste of Napa - 11/10/06