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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.
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.
I love this recipe. First for its flavor, but a close second for its historic provenance.
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:
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.Print