Chicken Fricassee

Well, well, well…just a couple days ago, I flew in under the wire of Cook the Books Club, so now it’s time to do the same thing with the Food n Flix pick!

But this one wasn’t my fault…ish.

This month Debra at Eliot’s Eats hosted the movie, O Brother Where Art Thou?

I feel like I may have seen this one before, but didn’t remember much, I checked the usuals (Netflix and Prime) for free streaming, but it was only available to rent.  So I checked the library but it was checked out…for the whole month!!!  AHHHH!!!!  Just give the movie back, person!!!

So, at the very last minute, I broke down and rented the movie.

Then, I was mad at myself because I was inspired by the opening scene, accompanied by the song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, and I wanted so badly to make my own rock candy, but definitely didn’t have enough time (I blame you, library movie hoarder!)

Let’s back up for a brief synopsis, the movie follows 3 men who escaped the chain gang only (unbeknownst to them, through a series of random circumstances) to become a hit music sensation.  It’s quirky and fun and the soundtrack is phenomenal.  Honestly, half the time I forgot to be looking for foodie inspiration, since I was enjoying the music so much!

Finally, I took my inspiration from the one restaurant scene where Everett and Delmar end up meeting (and ultimately get conned by) Big Dan.  He’s feeling peckish and thanks them for the Fricassee. 

Fricassee took me way back…

I remembered the first time I wanted to make chicken pot pie the way my mom did.  I called her up and she said she used the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (a copy of which I received at my wedding 13 years ago).

As many old cookbooks are apt to do, this one starts with a base recipe (key recipe in this case), then builds and builds.  To make that pot pie, I had to adventure through 3 recipes: Stewed chicken to chicken fricassee to chicken pie.

With the chicken fricassee inspiration, I started with the google search and learned that chicken fricassee may have originally just meant fried chicken, but these days it’s synonymous with chicken braised in a white wine and heavy cream sauce with vegetables.  It’s also meant to be bone-in chicken.

My Betty Crocker cookbook had the veggies and the bone-in chicken, but added milk (no wine).  So I decided to go off the rails and make this recipe my own.

I decided to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, because that’s what I had on hand and I have a cold and Hubs is out of town and I didn’t feel like running to the store.  Because of that, I realized that the first “stewed chicken” step would not make as flavorful a broth, so I started with chicken broth instead, sautéing the vegetables on their own, instead of stewing them with the chicken.  I loved the idea of wine, so I added that, and I also loved using milk in lieu of cream…so that’s what I did!

The chicken and accompanying gravy (or sauce, whatever your preference) were phenomenal, and a crowd pleaser all around.

Fun fact: I kept mentally singing "Under the Sea" while i made this, because it mentions Fricassee

Hubs got home just as I was hitting publish and he told me that he heard that this movie is based on Homer's Odyssey and it's legit!  Now I want to punish myself and reread the Odyssey!

Chicken Fricassee
Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ small onion, diced
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup lowfat milk
Small handful fresh herbs, I used a sprig of thyme, rosemary & oregano

Heat ½ tablespoon of butter in a large rimmed skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned on broth sides.  Place chicken on a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low.  Add the carrot, celery, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the veggies are just beginning to soften.

Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. 

Add the wine and stir until thickened.

Very slowly add the chicken broth, stirring, and allowing the gravy to thicken after each addition.

Follow with the milk, also allowing the gravy to thickening between additions.

Add the chicken back into the gravy and flip to coat.  Tuck fresh herbs  around the chicken, then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until gravy is thickened and chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a side of crusty bread


  1. Glad Mike is home. Congratulations to him on placing so well. I know you are very proud. The fricassee sounds lovely.

  2. I am so glad you liked the film. There were few of us this month that did. :( Love the dish and the history behind fricassee. I adore old cookbooks so glad you highlighted this one.

  3. I love the Odyssey...and I was so tickled that my boys' English teachers have it on their reading lists for freshman year.

  4. And this recipe looks great, too. Sorry...forgot to write that.


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