Up until I got married I thought that I couldn’t do much with chicken breasts. Then I married my “chicken-breast-lover” husband.
He loves it so much that he asks me to make it every day. And even after eating chicken breast at home almost every day, he orders chicken when we go to a restaurant. Mind-boggling, right? It was for me. At least at the beginning…
This is probably why I have so many easy chicken recipes on this blog.
But then I made my peace with it and started learning new ways to be creative with chicken breasts. I got used to the fact that since it is, pretty much flavorless, I could give it a lot of flavors using ingredients like tomatoes, mushrooms, leeks, onions, herbs, etc.
In time, as I made chicken breasts a regular in my daily cooking, I built a repertoire of go-to recipes that uses chicken breasts as the star ingredient. Today’s recipe, this Easy Chicken Fricassee Recipe is one of those recipes that is incredibly flavorful and oh so delicious.
What is fricassee – Fricassee Definition
Fricassee is a French cooking method in which meat is braised and served with a white sauce made from its own juices. (source)
What is chicken fricassee
While you can use any type of meat, fish, and even vegetables to make fricassee, one of the most popular recipes is chicken fricassee due to the availability and affordability of chicken.
Chicken Fricassee became very popular in the American tables after Julia Child authored it in her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you were to read her version of this recipe, you’d see that hers is quite lengthy and requires a long time to make.
My version of Chicken Fricassee recipe that you see here is an adaptation from America’s Test Kitchen’s website. I have been making it for years and it has been a recipe that I frequent often, especially if I am entertaining.
This version of Chicken Fricassee, compared to Julia Child’s version is rather quick and easy to make. Everything happens in one pot, and once you have mise-en-place ready, it comes together in 30 minutes.
How to make chicken fricassee
The process of making this Quick Chicken Fricassee has 3 parts.
First, you sear the chicken in a large skillet over medium heat with some butter and oil. Though before you sear the chicken, it is important that you pat-dry the meat with paper towels and season it well with salt and pepper.
You sear the chicken until lightly browned on both sides (it will not be fully cooked at this stage), remove it from the pan, cover with foil, and set aside.
Second, you cook the vegetables with a little bit of white wine in the same pot. While you can use any vegetables, this quick chicken fricassee recipe uses mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
Once the vegetables are softened you add in a tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce. At this stage, the sauce will be slightly thicker.
Next, you add in chicken broth (I used my homemade chicken stock), return chicken pieces back in the pot, put the lid on and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. I always check doneness of chicken breasts by using an instant thermometer. It is considered cooked when chicken breasts registers over 160 degrees.
If you need an instant thermometer, this is the one (affiliate link) I have been using for years. I think it is a rather inexpensive investment for a very important job.
How to make chicken fricassee sauce recipe
The last part of the recipe is making the sauce. In my opinion, this sauce is what makes this creamy chicken fricassee recipe out of this world.
To make the fricassee sauce, you whisk together sour cream with one egg yolk and temper it with some of the liquid from the simmering sauce. Here it is important that you continue to whisk as you add in the hot liquid into the sour cream mixture to prevent.
Then you add the mixture back into the pot and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened to your liking. It should be a silky sauce with chunks of mushrooms.
Sprinkle it with tarragon – aka the best most delicious ingredient in the recipe
At this stage, this chicken mushroom fricassee is a good recipe. However, the killer move is when you add fresh chopped tarragon, ground nutmeg, and lemon juice. In my opinion, the addition of these last ingredients (tarragon being the star of the show) takes this recipe from good to great.
One of my best friends is a chef. She always tells me that chicken and tarragon are made for each other. This Tarragon Chicken Fricassee is a recipe where you can see why.
The licorice-like taste of tarragon paired with earthy flavors of mushrooms and meaty chicken produces an incredibly flavorful chicken dish.
When ready to serve, simply place a chicken breast on a bed of rice (or bulgur) pilaf and spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the chicken. If preferred, sprinkle it with more chopped fresh tarragon.
What to serve with chicken fricassee
Most recipes you find in books and online serve chicken fricassee with rice. While that is a great option, I served mine with bulgur pilaf. I am a huge fan of bulgur pilaf with meat dishes and cannot recommend it enough if you have never tried it.
Another great side dish to serve it is my lemon quinoa. It comes together in just around 20-25 minutes and goes so well with this fricasseed chicken.
With that being said, this dish can also be served with various vegetable side dishes, steamed vegetables (like green peas, asparagus, or green beans) or a crisp green salad. If you are in need of delicious salads, feel free to download my free e-book, Salads That Satisfy.
Other Weeknight Chicken Recipes You Might Like
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Olives
- Lightened-Up Crispy Cheddar Chicken
- Thai Lemongrass Chicken
- Roasted Chicken Pita Wraps with Crispy Chickpeas
- Chicken Waldorf Salad
- Chicken Potato Noodle Soup
- Chicken with Fennel
Chicken Fricassee Recipe
- 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped – (about to 1 cup)
- 1 lbs. Portobello mushrooms cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock – I used my homemade chicken stock recipe.
For the sauce
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons tarragon minced (If you can’t find tarragon, you can use parsley)
- Pat dry chicken breasts with paper towels and season them generously with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Place chicken breasts and cook each side for 4 minutes, in medium high heat. At this point they will not be cooked thoroughly.
- Place them on a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Add the mushrooms, onions, and white wine to same skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned.
- Add garlic and flour and give it a generous stir. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add chicken broth; scrape the bottom to loosen the brown bits and cook until the broth is boiling.
- Add the chicken and all the juices in the plate and cover it with a lid. Cook in medium heat, until the chicken registers 160 F. degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the middle. This will take 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk the egg yolk and sour cream in a small bowl.
- Take the chicken breasts out and place it on a platter. Cover it with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Measure 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce and stir it into the sour cream and egg mixture. Mix.
- Stirring constantly, slowly pour the mixture into the skillet. Stir in the lemon juice, tarragon, and nutmeg. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Taste it for seasoning and add more, if necessary.
- To serve, place a chicken breast on a plate and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle it with more tarragon.
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Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen‘s Quick Chicken Fricassee.
This post was first posted in November 2013. It was updated in July 2020 with new photos, a quick how to video, and more helpful information to help you as you make this recipe in your own kitchen.