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Recipe for Chicken Fricassee

You will love this simplified recipe for chicken fricassee, a classic French dish of chicken and vegetables in a creamy wine sauce. Rustic, versatile and delicious.

As Fall approaches, I start craving comfort food. This one hits the spot for me – and Abraham Lincoln 🙂 – apparently one of his favorite dishes. 

finished chicken fricassee in pan

Fricassee is actually a cooking method that combines sautéing (pan frying) followed by braising (cooking in a liquid). Despite the two steps, this one pan meal is pretty simple. 

The chicken comes out moist and tender and the creamy sauce, flavored with wine and herbs, is silky, aromatic and scrumptious.

Chicken fricassee is typically made with pearl onions, carrots and mushrooms, but I go with whatever veggies I have on hand. Check out ideas below for variations on just about every part of this dish

For this chicken fricassee recipe, think Julia Child with a few simplifications and modifications such as:

  • browning the chicken (instead of keeping it white) for better flavor and color,
  • doing a quicker sauté on the onions and mushrooms,
  • using a lighter cream and no egg yolks to keep the calories down and
  • throwing in baby spinach for extra nutrition (this is optional). 

As always, we go for the simplest way to get things done, honoring the intent without compromising taste. And remaining conscious about nutrition.

What to serve with chicken fricassee

With the lovely cream sauce, I love to serve the fricassee – rustic style right out of the skillet – with basic mashed potatoes, egg noodles, crusty warm bread or white rice. For a lighter option, try cauliflower rice

That’s all you really need because there are lots of veggies in the dish. Except for perhaps a green salad and a glass of white wine. 

FAQ

What is the difference between chicken fricassee and stewed chicken?

A fricassee starts with pan frying, then cooks in liquid. A stew is just simmered in liquids.

Is there an authentic way to make chicken fricassee?

There is really no one definitive way to make fricassee. Everyone puts their own spin on it. There are, however, some core elements. Typically, pearl onions, carrots and mushrooms. A creamy white wine sauce. And the two step method. Often the chicken is pan fried gently so it doesn’t brown.

What is chicken fricassee called in French?

Fricassee de Poulet a L’Ancienne.

How to make this recipe for chicken fricassee

chicken pieces, mushrooms, onions, carrots, broth, wine, cream, herbs, garlic, oil, seasonings
Ingredients: bone in chicken pieces, mushrooms, onions, carrots, broth, wine, cream, herbs, garlic, oil, seasonings
finished chicken fricassee in pan 1
Serve rustic style right from the skillet.
piece of chicken fricassee on mashed potatoes
Serve with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice or crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
finished chicken fricassee in pan p

Tailor To Your Taste

Here’s where you can make it your own with variations and substitutions.

Chicken options

  • Any type of chicken will do as long as you adjust the cooking times. I prefer skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces for added flavor. In fact, I try to buy kosher chicken as it is already brined (more flavorful and juicy). For the best flavor, stick to chicken thighs and drumsticks. But breasts remain moist in this dish, too, as they are cooked with the sauce.
  • Even boneless chicken can be used – see shortcuts. Cooking time will be much less.

Vegetable options

  • The vegetables you choose have to stand up to the baking process. Very soft ones like zucchini may break down too much
  • Most common are mushrooms (any kind), onions (any kind, but pearl are most common) and carrots. The small button mushrooms are ideal as they don’t need to be cut.
  • Other good veggies are baby potatoes (halved), red peppers, celery and butternut squash.

Wine options

  • Some good ones are Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Sauvingnon Blanc.
  • If you don’t want to use wine, add extra broth and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • I also like to use sherry or fortified wine for a very rich flavor.

Flavor options

  • Thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, tarragon are all good options (and will flavor the dish very differently)

Dietary options

  • For dairy free, leave out the cream. Or use a dairy-free cream product. You can also replace the cream with coconut milk, but the taste will be altered.
  • For gluten-free, use gluten free flour or a cornstarch slurry.
  • Try replacing the cream with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Shortcuts

  •  You can cut the time for the chicken fricassee recipe way down by using boneless chicken. If the pieces are fairly thin (or cut into pieces), you will be able to fully cook them in the pan fry step and skip the oven step altogether. Thicker boneless chicken may need 10-15 minutes in the oven.
  • Buy pre-washed baby spinach if using (it’s optional) .

Make Ahead and Storage

  • Store the leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
  • The full recipe can be made ahead, then warmed in the oven before serving. Or keep warm, covered in the oven on a low/warm setting for 30-45 minutes.

Other cozy comfort food recipes to try

finished chicken fricassee in pan
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Recipe for Chicken Fricassee

You will love this simplified recipe for chicken fricassee, a classic French dish of chicken and vegetables in a creamy wine sauce. Rustic, versatile and delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Equipment

  • oven-proof large skillet

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on Note 1
  • 2 tablespoons flour coating (2 Tbsp flour + 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Vegetables, Note 2

  • 1 cup (52 grams) chopped onion 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 cups (225 grams) chopped carrots 2-3 carrots
  • 8 ounces (228 grams) button mushrooms
  • 2 cups (60 grams) baby spinach, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

White wine sauce

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) white wine, Note 3
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 tablepoons fresh herbs, Note 4 (or 2 teaspoons dried herbs)
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) heavy cream or light, Note 5 10% (half and half) or 35% (heavy whipping cream)

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 375F/190C.
  • SEASON CHICKEN: Place flour coating (flour + seasonings) in bag. Pat chicken dry and add it to bag. Shake to coat evenly. If bag is small, do a few pieces at a time. Alternatively, dip pieces of chicken in flour coating on plate and shake off. You just want a very light coating.
  • SAUTÉ CHICKEN: Heat oil in large oven proof skillet to medium high (7/10). Sauté chicken until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. It won't be cooked through. Remove to plate lined with a paper towel. Keep 2 tablespoons of grease/fat in skillet and discard the rest. If not enough grease, add butter or oil.
  • SAUTÉ VEGETABLES: Lower heat to medium heat. Add all chopped vegetables (not including spinach) and sauté until almost tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • MAKE SAUCE: Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for 1 minute until reduced, then add broth and herbs and stir until sauce is slightly thickened. It will thicken more when baked with chicken.
  • BAKE: Return chicken to skillet skin side up. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken (if using boneless chicken, time will be cut in half or more). Chicken should be cooked to 160F/71C measured with an instant read thermometer. It will rise a few more degrees when finishing.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Remove skillet from oven and place on stove. Transfer chicken to plate and add cream to make a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or thyme for example. Stir in chopped spinach if using until wilted (1 minute). Return chicken to skillet. Spoon sauce onto pieces and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Chicken options:
    • bone-in, skin on pieces: For best flavor and moistness, use thighs and drumsticks. But breasts are fine too. I used a whole chicken cut up. 
    • boneless chicken breasts or thighs are also a good option, but baking time will be much less. If already cooked through to 160F/71C, skip the baking step. 
  2. Vegetable options: You can add/substitute baby potatoes (halved), chopped celery, red peppers or butternut squash. Avoid soft, watery veggies like zucchini. 
  3. White wine options: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc and Sauvingnon Blanc. If you don’t want to use wine, add extra broth and a tablespoon of lemon juice. I also like to use sherry or fortified wine for a very rich flavor (use 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup wine).
  4. Herb options: thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, tarragon are all good options (and will flavor the dish very differently). If using dried, use 1/3 amounts. Here’s a good article on herbs 101
  5. Cream options:
    • For the richest sauce, use heavy cream (most typical in a fricassee). I use 10% as that’s what I have on hand and I like the lower calories.
    • For dairy free, leave out the cream. Or use a dairy-free cream product. You can also replace the cream with coconut milk, but the taste will be altered.
    • For gluten-free, use gluten free flour or a cornstarch slurry.
    • Try replacing the cream with sour cream or plain yogurt.
  6. Make ahead and storage:
    • Store the leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
    • The full recipe can be made ahead, then warmed in the oven before serving. Or keep warm, covered, in the oven on a low/warm setting for 30-45 minutes.
Nutrition values are estimates and will depend on many factors such as the chicken you choose, the cream you use, etc. The values include a whole chicken (dark and white meat) and half and half cream. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Recipe for Chicken Fricassee
Amount Per Serving
Calories 665 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 181mg60%
Sodium 544mg24%
Potassium 1048mg30%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 48g96%
Vitamin A 9866IU197%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 101mg10%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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2 Comments

    1. Yes it can. You can sous vide the chicken using the correct time and temperature for the type of chicken you choose, make the veggies and sauce in a large pan while the chicken is cooking. Then add the chicken to the sauce directly and serve. Or, if you prefer, pan sear the chicken once it’s cooked sous vide to brown it, then add it to the sauce. Hope that helps.

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