Vegetable-Lover’s Chicken Fricassee

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by: Tamara






This dish may seem complicated, but it really involves only fixing an assortment of vegetables and then serving them over the chicken. You can cut out some of the vegetables, if you like, or you can trade some of them out for whatever looks good at the market. Makes 6 first-course or 4 main-course servings.




ingredients

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serves: 4

12 thick spears green (or white) asparagus

1 package (10-ounce) cultivated mushrooms (preferably cremini)

1/2 cup fresh baby peas (or frozen petite peas)

2/3 pound fava beans in the shell (shucked) (optional)

1 ounce dried morel mushrooms (optional)

2 large artichokes (optional)

1/2 lemon if using artichokes

Salt

1/3 pound green beans (preferably haricots verts, ends trimmed)

2 cups spinach leaves

18 (or 24) pearl onions (or walnut-size boiling onions) (optional)

1 (4-pound) chicken (or 2 thighs and 2 breasts, or 4 thighs or breasts)

Pepper

3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)

3 cups chicken broth (or water if using onions, or 3 1/4 cups if not)

1 small bunch chives

1 small bunch parsley (large stems removed)

1 small bunch chervil (optional)

2 leaves from sprigs tarragon

1/2 cup heavy cream

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable-Lover’s Chicken Fricassee

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 505

  • Total Fat: 16.9 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 9.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 43.6 mg
  • Sodium: 319 mg
  • Total Carbs: 79.1 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 17.2 g
  •     Sugars: 24.6 g
  • Protein: 22.8 g
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preparation

1.  Early on the day you will be serving the fricassee, trim and peel the asparagus spears. Cut each spear into 3 sections about 3 inches long.

2.  Wash and dry the mushrooms. Cut the end off the bottom of each mushroom stem if dried out or dirty. Shuck or thaw the peas and fava beans.

3.  Place the morels in a very small bowl with just enough water to reach one-third up their sides. Soak them for about 30 minutes, pressing down on them, and move them around every 10 minutes until they are completely soft. Lift them out of the water, squeeze them, capturing the water in the bowl, and put the morels in a separate small bowl.

4.  Prepare the artichokes for artichoke bottoms. Put the artichokes in a nonaluminum pot with plenty of water to cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until a paring knife poked into one of the artichokes goes through with moderate resistance. Drain the artichokes, rub with the lemon half, and set the artichokes and lemon aside.

5.  Select a pot that you can reach into with a large strainer or spider, so you can fish out the vegetables as they are ready. Fill with about 6 quarts water, bring to a rapid boil, and add a small handful of salt. Add the green beans and boil for about 5 minutes, or until they lose all but the slightest crunch. Scoop them out into a colander, rinse with cold water until cool, and transfer to a bowl. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out with tongs into the colander, rinse with cold water until cool, and add to the bowl. If using fresh peas, boil them for about 1 minute, scoop them out and rinse them with cold water, and add them to the bowl. If using frozen peas, reserve them until you are ready to assemble the dish. Add the fava beans to the boiling water, boil for 1 minute, scoop them out into the colander, rinse them with cold water, and set aside in a separate bowl. Add the spinach to the boiling water, stir it around for just a few seconds until it goes limp, and scoop it out into the colander and rinse it with cold water. Squeeze out the water and reserve on a plate. Finally, add the pearl onions to the boiling water, boil for 2 minutes, and then drain into the colander and rinse with cold water.

6.  Peel the fava beans, using a paring knife and your thumbnail to remove the tough skin. Trim and peel the pearl onions and place in a separate bowl. Scoop the chokes out of the artichoke bottoms, and cut each bottom into 6 wedges. If you are not finishing the fricassee right away, put the artichoke bottoms in a bowl, squeeze in the juice from the lemon half, and toss to coat. Cover all the vegetables and refrigerate until you are ready to finish the dish.

7.  About 1 hour before serving, if using a whole chicken, cut it up. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan large enough to hold the chicken, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and cook gently for about 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over, cook for about 5 minutes longer, pour off and discard the fat in the pan, and pour in 2 cups of the chicken broth.

8.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan large enough to hold all the sauce and vegetables, combine the pearl onions and 1 cup broth, bring to a simmer over low to medium heat, and cook for 15 minutes. Slice the cultivated mushrooms and add to the pan with the onions. (Or, if not using the onions, combine the mushrooms with 1/4 cup chicken broth in a saucepan large enough to hold the sauce and the vegetables.) Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

9.  While the mushrooms are cooking, chop the herbs, reserving 4 chervil sprigs for garnish. Stir the herbs into the saucepan, add to the onions and/or mushrooms, and pour in the cream. Heat the spinach in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Put all the other vegetables - asparagus, peas, favas, morels, artichokes, and green beans - on top ofthe mushrooms. As you add the vegetables, season them with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook gently over medium heat for 3 minutes.

10.  Arrange the spinach in warmed soup plates and place a piece of cooked chicken on top of each mound. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over. Decorate with a chervil sprigs.

11.  While the mushrooms are cooking, chop the herbs, reserving 4 chervil sprigs for garnish. Stir the herbs into the saucepan, add to the onions and/or mushrooms, and pour in the cream. Heat the spinach in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Put all the other vegetables - asparagus, peas, favas, morels, artichokes, and green beans - on top ofthe mushrooms. As you add the vegetables, season them with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook gently over medium heat for 3 minutes.

12.  Arrange the spinach in warmed soup plates and place a piece of cooked chicken on top of each mound. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over. Decorate with a chervil sprigs.

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