Chicken fricassee is the original French comfort food and it is utterly divine. It may look fancy, but this complete meal-in-one is made with humble ingredients and bakes all in one pot for an easy dinner any night of the week. This chicken fricassee is made with juicy seasoned chicken that is browned, then slowly braised with carrots, celery, mushrooms, sweet pearl onions, and garlic in a decadent, velvety sauce infused with herbs. It’s a satisfying explosion of flavor and luxurious texture in every bite. And the best part is, you can customize the chicken fricassee to your family tastes with different veggies or spices. I’ve also included step-by-step photos, tips and tricks to make the best chicken fricassee of your life! Serve this scrumptious chicken fricassee recipe with creamy mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa or low carb cauliflower rice along with some crusty bread or garlic bread for a dreamy dinner that will shoot to the top of everyone’s favorite/must make/make often/make again NOW list!
Servings 6 servings
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks combined skin removed (see notes)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp EACH salt, garlic powder, onion powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, paprika
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces pearl onions peeled kept whole
- 2 carrots cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 8 ounces white mushrooms quartered (halved if small)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8-1/4 tsp EACH salt, pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk 1/4 flour and all "chicken seasoning" together in a shallow dish. Pat chicken dry and dredge each piece in the mixture, pressing the flour into the chicken, shake off any excess, then transfer to a dry surface (reserve any leftover flour).
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a deep, oven-proof skillet/braiser. Once hot, add chicken and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, until golden (it will not be cooked through) – do NOT let the drippings burn/blacken. Reduce heat if necessary. Remove chicken to a plate but do not discard drippings.
Reduce heat to medium. To the now empty skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add a drizzle of olive oil if the vegetables become too dry. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add remaining flour from dredging chicken PLUS fresh flour as needed to equal 3 tablespoons total. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and slowly pour in the chicken broth while stirring and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in dried parsley, dried oregano and dried basil. Return chicken to the pan along with any juices. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, until the chicken reaches 170 degrees F.
Transfer the chicken from the skillet to a plate. Stir in heavy cream, fresh thyme and fresh parsley. Simmer until reduced to desired consistency, 5-10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/4 tsp each). Add chicken back to pot and serve over rice or mashed potatoes.
Tips and Tricks
- Pot size: I use a 3 ½ quart cast-iron enamel braiser that measures 11 1/2″ in diameter by 2 1/2″ high. You will want to use a similar oven proof dish/skillet with a tight-fitting lid. If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, you can transfer the chicken and sauce to an oven safe baking dish, just be aware baking times will vary. If you don’t have a lid, cover your oven proof dish tightly with foil. If your seal isn’t tight, then heat and liquid will escape.
- Skin on or off? Traditional chicken fricassee is cooked with the skin on but I prefer to remove the skin from my chicken because the skin does not stay crispy - and I’m not a fan of soggy skin. To make the skinless chicken just as juicy as skin-on chicken, it is lightly dusted in a flour/spice coating that creates an enveloping, deeply golden, deeply flavorful crust and the chicken stays delightfully juicy and tender. You can leave the skin on your chicken if you prefer just make sure to sear the chicken for a decent amount of time to render the fat, otherwise you will be left with extra greasy sauce.
- Onions: Pearl onions add pops of juicy sweetness. You may substitute with one chopped white onion – but it’s not the same!
- How to remove thyme leaves in seconds: Simply push the end of the thyme stem through a hole of a fine mesh strainer and carefully but forcefully pull the stem through. The leaves will collect in the strainer – easy peasy!
- Dried thyme: You may substitute the fresh thyme with ½ teaspoon dried thyme. Add dried thyme to the sauce with the other dried herbs before the chicken fricassee goes in the oven.
- Don’t burn chicken drippings: If your chicken drippings are turning dark too quickly, reduce the heat while searing the chicken. You want deeply golden chicken drippings. If the bits have turned black – you don’t want them! They will make your entire chicken fricassee taste burnt.
- Why cook chicken to 170? Dark chicken meat such as chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks used in this recipe are juicer and more tender when cooked to 170-175 degrees. F. Chicken thighs contain more connective tissue than chicken breasts which takes longer to break down. Cooking them to a higher temperature will ensure that the dark meat becomes even more tender and juicy verses chewy and rubbery. I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer otherwise there is no accurate way to check and see when your chicken is cooked without slicing it open and loosing valuable juices.
How to Prep Ahead
- Chicken: Remove the skin from the chicken, dredge chicken in flour mixture and sear per recipe instructions. Transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Save the chicken drippings.
- Veggies: Chop all of the vegetables and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also go one step further and sauté the veggies if you wish.
- Sauce: You can prepare the recipe all the way up through making the sauce before adding the chicken back to the pan. Store sauce (with veggies) and chicken separately. When ready to continue with the recipe, bring to a simmer, then add the chicken and pop in the oven.
How to Store and Reheat
- Storage: This chicken dinner should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days.
- Microwave: Chop up chicken so it reheats more evenly, then transfer a small portion to a microwave safe dish. Heat for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals.
- Stove: Chop up chicken, then transfer to a skillet. Heat over medium heat, stirring often.
How to Freeze
You can freeze chicken fricassee but it may split due to the heavy cream. If you know you will be freezing the chicken fricassee, then omit the heavy cream or replace it with evaporated milk. To freeze this easy chicken dinner, let it cool completely, then seal the chicken and sauce in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, place in the fridge overnight to thaw before reheating.