Chicken Fricassee

From the Chicago Tribune

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The Trib listed this one as 30 minutes prep time, and an hour cooking time. It took me 2 solid hours in the kitchen, but the results were worth it!

The vegetables listed are not absolute, you can use anything fresh and in season, eg artichokes, morels, fresh peas, spring onions. Experiment with less or more lemon juice, fresh thyme instead of tarragon, creme fraiche in place of cream sauce. Taste is everything!

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
1 cat (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely chopped
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon flour
2 large lemons -- juice from both and zest from one
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or whipping cream
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro


  1. Season chicken with salt & pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until golden on each side, 4-6 minutes per side.
  2. Transfer chicken to a platter, pour off and discard all but one tablespoon of the fat. Add half of the wine to the Dutch oven; cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits, 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until liquid is almost absorbed, 1 minute. Add broth; heat to a simmer. Return chicken to Dutch oven; cook, turning once or twice, until ver tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer chicken to clean platter; set aside, Skim off as much fat as possible from cooking liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, cook, stirring, until almost translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic and carrots; cook, stirring until carrots are tender, 6 minutes. Add mushroom,s; cook, stirring often, until they absorb their own liquid. Stir in tarragon. Add remaining wine; simmer 1 minute. add asparagus; cook until bright green, 4 minutes. Add peas; heat through. Stir vegetables into chicken-cooking liquid in Dutch oven.
  4. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the vegetable skillet over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking util it begins to turn brown, 2 minutes. Whist in the lemon juice until absorbed. Slowly whisk in 1/2 and 1/2 until the mixture thickens, 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and pepper to taste. Slowly stir cream mixture into broth and vegetables. Return chicken to Dutch oven; add cilantro. Simmer on low until heated through, about 10 minutes.