Ingredient List Print Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 4-pound free-range, organic chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 12-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 8 ounces dried porcini or other wild mushrooms
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pound baby carrots, peeled
- 1 pound baby turnips, peeled and diced
- 1/2 pound small onions peeled
- 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
Dinner From a Cast Iron Pot
By John Besh
The soul of this stew is not that much different from that of a coq au vin. But even though it’s just one-pot cooking, you will elevate the chicken in a way that’s impossible with any other cooking method. If you take the time to carefully brown the chicken, just a few pieces at a time until they turn crispy, it will intensify the flavor of the dish. If you’re tempted to use skinned, deboned chicken, please don’t. Not only is the flavor brought out by browning with the skin on, but the bone is the source of so much of the deep flavor of the fricassee.
In a large cast iron pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken pieces a few at a time, and brown on all sides. As they brown, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter.
Add the onions to the pot and cook over moderate heat to soften. Add the celery and garlic and cook until they turn a rich brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
Add the chicken broth, mushrooms, and thyme. Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the carrots, turnips, onions, and potatoes. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the chicken is fork tender and the thigh bones are loose.
Not surprisingly, I like to serve my fricassee in a shallow bowl over Louisiana rice.
From My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing
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