Or Chicken Fricassee a la Julia Child…
When my food and wine trip to France was cancelled early this year, it was disappointing to me and my husband, to say the least. Creating the #31 Days of France Project was a nice diversion but I felt like I needed something really big to end on. So, on the day we would have returned from France, I decided to make a French meal for us to enjoy. (Related Reading: 31 Days of France – Part 1 and 31 Days of France – Part Deux)
This may not seem like that big of a deal, but I’ve never been that into cooking. When my kids were little, they used to ask me that inevitable question, “Mom…what’s for supper?” And I would say, “why are you asking me? You know your dad is the one who cooks!” I mean, I do have certain things that I like to make but for the most part, Eddie is the one thinking ahead about what to make for meals. But for our French dinner, I wanted to be the one to tackle this one!
After reading a book about Julia Child, and watching the movie Julie and Julia, I got inspired to try one of her recipes. I thought about her beef bourguignon, but honestly, I was a little intimidated. So, after a trip to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients, I was ready to prepare our French inspired dinner on Friday, May 29th.
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb. skin-on-bone-in chicken thighs
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 9 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. thyme leaves
The directions called for heating the olive oil in a skillet. Then I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and put all four pieces into the skillet to cook until “golden” – five minutes per side. This is when things started to get a bit smoky. I had the fan on over the stove, opened the back and front doors to get the smoke moving! I was worried the smoke alarm would go off! Luckily that didn’t happen.
Once the chicken was browned, I put it aside to pull the other ingredients together. In the same skillet, I added butter, onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms to cooked until soft. This took about 5 minutes. Then I added flour and cooked it all another minute or two before adding the wine and scraping the skillet to get anything on the bottom of the pan mixed in. I let this concoction cook for about 6 minutes.
Next came the broth and cream and then the parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Once combined, it was time to add the chicken and simmer all together for about 15 minutes while the chicken continued to cook and the sauce thickened. I have to admit…it looked fantastic and I told my husband I hoped it tasted as good as it looked!
Before we enjoyed this meal together, I made us each a French themed cocktail with Lillet, a French aperitif wine. Very refreshing! That’s when we facetimed with our friends, The Pruitt’s, who were supposed to be on the trip with us. They were having their own French themed dinner that night too. We shared cocktails and then said our goodbyes to enjoy our meals. I had found a 60s French Pop Radio station on Pandora earlier in the month and really enjoyed listening, so for our meal I had it playing softly in the background.
After a lovely fresh salad, we were ready for the main course. And BOY!!!! It did NOT disappoint! We topped it off with a Chateauneuf duPape red wine that I had found on a recent trip to the Clairmont Piggly Wiggly. They have an amazing French wine selection there. On our trip, we would have been sampling this particular wine at a special event so this made up for it just a tad bit. For dessert, I went simple with chocolate eclairs and macarons. Magnifique!
My chicken fricassee dinner was a delicious end to my #31 Days of France project and I have to say, it got me interested in cooking too! Well…maybe just a bit.