I have a problem: I save waaaaayyy too many articles and recipes in Facebook. Perhaps as some sort of nesting or simply my need to organize and clean in order to stay sane, I recently started going through those links and getting rid of things. Today’s recipe has been towards the bottom of my saved links in Facebook for months, so I decided to make it for dinner tonight.
During my four-plus years in France, I sampled many traditional dishes: petit-salé, cassoulet, pot au feu, blanquette de veau, but never fricassee; so I was excited to give this Martha Stewart rendition a try. I only made 2 changes to my version: two boneless chicken breasts instead of whole chicken pieces and no tarragon at the end (I really don’t like that herb). You can find the recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/925889/chicken-fricassee-fricassee-de-poulet-lancienne
The key to this recipe is to chop and measure out everything in advance. None of the steps is complicated, but there is quite a succession of things to do. If you aren’t immediately ready to move on to the next step, you can get overwhelmed. This fact alone made it a poor recipe choice for me. At 35 weeks pregnant, it required too much standing and bustling around the kitchen at the end of a busy day. I’m just not used to needing to rest as much as I’m beginning to. Lesson learned.
As for my family’s evaluations of the end result, I’d say they were generally unimpressed. My son has recently boycotted napping and it finally seemed to be catching up with him today. I think he would have liked it more if he had been in a better mood. After all, it’s basically chicken, carrots, and celery (and I served it over oven-roasted potatoes). You can’t go wrong with that combination in my household. Even I felt a little disappointed. I enjoyed the rich sauce and mushrooms, but it was a lot of work for a stew. I’d happily eat this again, but only if someone else prepared it.