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Chicken Fricassee with Kale: An Updated Classic

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An updated Chicken Fricassee with Kale is as delicious today as in Abraham Lincoln’s day. And a quick and easy meal, any night of the week. It’s simply divine when served over buttered noodles.

Chicken Fricassee with Kale: An Updated Classic | 31Daily.com

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What is Chicken Fricassee

Chicken Fricassee is a classic and hearty meal made simply with humble ingredients in one pot.

Traditionally served with peas, we’ve instead substituted kale, added mushrooms, paired down the cooking time, and lightened up the sauce.

It’s also documented as Abraham Lincoln’s favorite dish. For the historic recipe he favored, see Abraham Lincoln’s Chicken Fricassee Recipe.

Ingredients You Will Need

For ingredient measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a quick list of what you need to make this easy skillet dinner.

  • Bone in chicken thighs
  • Fricassee Sauce: Butter for sauteing, all-purpose flour for thickening, and heavy cream
  • Aromatics: onion, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, fresh thyme and parsley
  • Vegetables: Carrots, celery, mushrooms, and chopped fresh kale.
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Liquid: Chicken broth and dry white wine are optional and can be replaced by chicken broth.

How to Make This Updated Chicken Fricassee

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken thighs, skin side down; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pan; sauté 3 minutes until soft. Stir in chopped mushrooms and saute another 4-5 minutes. Then, stir in the flour and paprika; cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits in the skillet. Continue to cook until it is reduced, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, cream, and bay leaf; and bring to a boil. Return chicken to the pan, skin sides up. Add chopped kale, cover the skillet, reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme. Serve over buttered extra-wide noodles.

Historic Significance of Chicken Fricassee

Ever since I wrote an article celebrating the favorite food of U.S. presidents, I’ve wanted to make this recipe. Rumored as Abraham Lincoln’s favorite meal, it’s been simmering in my mind.

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Chicken Fricassee

Abraham Lincoln’s favorite fricassee might have looked a bit like Fanny Farmer’s recipe. The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, published as early as 1857, gives this recipe for Chicken Fricassee:

Chicken Fricassee

Dress, clean, and cut up a fowl. Put in a kettle, cover with boiling water, and cook slowly until tender, adding salt to water when chicken is about half done. Remove from water, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and sauté in butter or pork fat. Arrange chicken on pieces of dry toast placed on a hot platter, having wings and sécond joints opposite each other, breast in centre of platter, and drumsticks crossed just below second joints. Pour around White or Brown Sauce. Reduce stock to two cups, strain, and remove the fat. Melt three tablespoons butter, add four tablespoons flour, and pour on gradually one and one-half cups stock. Just before serving, add one-half cup cream, and salt and pepper to taste; or make a sauce by browning butter and flour and adding two cups stock, then seasoning with salt and pepper.

Fowls, which are always made tender by long cooking, are frequently utilized in this way. If chickens are employed, they are sautéd without previous boiling, and allowed to simmer fifteen to twenty minutes in the sauce.

While it may have been Mr. Lincoln’s preferred dish, fricassee actually dates back to the 15th century. Popular in traditional French cuisine, it’s really a simple creamy chicken stew. Deriving from a French verb, “fricassee,” which translates to cooking meat in its own juice.

Chicken Fricassee with Kale: An Updated Classic | 31Daily.com

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Chicken Fricassee with Kale: An Updated Classic | 31Daily.com

Chicken Fricassee with Kale

An updated Chicken Fricassee with Kale is as delicious today as it was in Abraham Lincoln’s day. And a quick and easy meal, any night of the week. It’s simply divine when served over buttered noodles.
3 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients 

  • 6 to 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • small onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms quartered
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 15-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups kale chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken thighs, skin side down; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pan; sauté 3 minutes until soft. Stir in chopped mushrooms and saute another 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the flour and paprika; cook 1 minute. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits in the skillet. Continue to cook until it is reduced, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the broth, cream, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Return chicken to the pan, skin sides up. Add chopped kale, cover the skillet, reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme. Serve over buttered extra-wide noodles.

Notes

While there really isn’t a substitute for heavy cream, I do sometimes exchange it for milk to lighten it up.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Fricasse
Chicken Fricassee with Kale: An Updated Classic | 31Daily.com

2 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    Several of the ingredients called for are unaccounted for in the Directions. What about the heavy cream and the white wine, when do I add these?

    1. Hi Brian — you are absolutely correct. That was an oversight on my part — too many times making that recipe. I have updated the instructions to reflect when to add the cream and win. Thanks again!

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