As a child, chicken fricassee was one my favorite dishes my mom would to make for dinner. Her recipe is lost, but I recall her making it in pressure cooker and the ingredients included salt pork and sour cream. Mom grew up in North Mississippi and her recipe seems consistent with recipes outside of South Louisiana. Most definitions describe fricassee as a French stew of various meats with a white gravy though most recipes use chicken. The creole and Cajun versions use a roux as a base, so they tend to be darker than other versions.
Although a fricassee may take up the 3 hours to complete most of the work is done in the beginning. It’s great for a day when you have indoor activities such as laundry or house cleaning on the schedule. I have played around with different recipes over the years and recently took the taste I liked from several and came up with this recipe. I think adding white wine makes a fricassee so much better. You can use boneless chicken, but i find using chicken meat with the bone and skin adds more flavors to the dish. When done, the chicken is so tender the bone and skin is easily removed if you wish.
6 large chicken thighs with bone and skin
1 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 cups onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp creole seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
2 Tsp dried Thyme
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Heat the oil in large heavy pot. While the oil is heating, season the thighs well with the creole seasoning and salt and dredge in the flour. Shake off the excess flour and set aside. When the oil is hot (a little flour sprinkled in the oil should start simmering) brown the chicken on both sides and set aside. Do several batches instead of crowding the pot. You don’t need to cook the thighs all the way at this point.
Once all the chicken is removed drain off about half the oil, try not to loose any of chicken/flour remnants. Gradually whisk in the remainder of the flour until the oil/flour mixture is thick. (This should be about ¾ cup. If not add more.) Whisk the roux until it is the color of peanut butter. Add the onions and bell pepper and continue to stir well into the roux and until the onions are clear. Add about a half tbsp of the creole seasoning and garlic as the onions and bell peppers cook.
Add the wine and stir well to avoid lumps and clearing any matter stuck to the bottom of the pot. Once this is mixed well, simmer for about 5 minutes. Increase the heat and slowly add the chicken stock. Again whisking well to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to full boil to allow the roux to do its thing which is achieving its thickening power. (It should look thick but still flow off of a spoon.) Add the bay leaf, thyme, and Worcestershire Sauce. Taste and the remaining creole seasoning and salt (if needed) to your taste. Now return the chicken to the pot. It should be mostly submerged. If not add water to mostly cover the chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 1 ½ hours or until nearly falling of the bone. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the pot. For a thicker sauce remove the lid for the last 30 minutes.
Serve over rice.