As we conclude our Cookbook Giveaway
(read full details here) we’ve selected another classic recipe from The Essential James Beard Cookbook: 450 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking, by James Beard; edited by Rick Rodgers with John Ferrone. Old Fashioned Chicken Fricassee with Wagons Wheels is easy enough to make a part of your weekday meal planning, even though it’s a slow-cooked meal! But what we find favor with most, here, is how Beard shines as an instructor (read our full review here) for any home cook. In our last recipe, Chicken Sauté with Tomatoes, Beard very simply talks you through pan-roasting. In this fricassee recipe, Beard gives easy to understand directions on how to make a flawless gravy in a slow cooked classic preparation, the fricassee. The result, again, is spectacularly flavored chicken. With permission from St. Martin’s Press and James Beard House, The Spice & Tea Exchange® added its own contemporary flavor twist by using one of our most popular chicken seasonings, Crazy Chicken Blend.
Learning to make a proper pan sauce or gravy using flour as a thickener is essential to classic home-style cooking. Beard describes each step so you never feel like you’re in danger of ruining the sauce. Then, to take you one step further in your instruction, he talks you through the classic addition of egg yolks to the sauce, which thickens and makes the sauce glossy, not to mention unctuously rich. Once you know these two techniques, gravy and sauce-making become second-nature in your home kitchen.
And, yes! You can do this!
Remember to enter our Cookbook Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of The Essential James Beard Cookbook: 450 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking by commenting on any of The Essential James Beard Cookbook posts between now and December 1st (full details here). And don’t forget to scroll back through our week-long series of Beard
Essentials blogposts featuring updated recipes from
Essentials blogposts featuring updated recipes fromThe Essential James Beard Cookbook: 450 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking.
Old-Fashioned Chicken Fricassee With Wagon Wheels
Makes 6 servings
A wonderfully soothing dish, a great old favorite. If your family likes only the white or only the dark meat, you can buy your chicken in parts instead of whole and no one will feel disappointed. Wide noodles are traditional, but I served a fricassee with wagon wheels recently, and it made an amusing change.
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter
One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
TSTE Crazy Chicken Blend (about 1 tablespoon to season chicken before cooking, about 1 teaspoon more to season the aromatics)
3⁄4 cup sliced celery
1⁄2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
11⁄2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon TSTE La Baleine sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon TSTE Pirate’s Bite Grinder (pepper) blend
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 pound wagon wheel pasta or egg noodles
Sprinkle a bit of TSTE Crazy Chicken Blend on/under the chicken pieces and skin. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the chicken to the pan and sear for 1 minute, until it becomes firm on the outside but has not yet browned. Turn and sear the other side, then remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the celery, onions, and shallots. When they are nicely coated with butter toss in the remaining TSTE Crazy Chicken blend and continue to cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds without browning the flour. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock.
Return the chicken to the skillet with 1 ⁄2 cup of the cream, season with TSTE La Baleine Sea Salt and a few grinds of TSTE Pirate’s Bite Grinder (pepper) blend. Shake the pan to blend the spices. Bring the sauce to a low simmer, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the meat shows no sign of pink when pierced at the thighbone with the tip of a sharp knife, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. About 10 minutes before the sauce is done, add the pasta to the water and cook according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, transfer the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated 250°F oven. Tip the skillet and, using a flat spoon, skim off the surface fat from the sauce. Whisk the remaining 1 ⁄2 cup heavy cream and the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot sauce into the egg mixture, then whisk back into the skillet. Whisk over low heat until the sauce thickens to a light creamy consistency that just coats the spoon. It must not overheat or begin to simmer, or it will curdle. Season with the salt.
Drain the pasta and return to the cooking pot. Toss about half of the sauce with the pasta. Spread on a deep platter, top with the chicken, and pour the remaining sauce on top.