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CHICKEN FRICASSÉE WITH MUSHROOMS AND CABBAGE

 

Ingredients for 6 persons:

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup La Puyade Cognac

1 large fryer or small roasting chicken (4 pounds), cut into serving pieces

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 thick-slices smoked bacon (Nueske brand preferred), cut into 1/4" slices

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup Pineau de Charentes Blanc

2 turnips, peeled, halved and cut into 4 wedges each

4 ounces brown mushrooms, wiped and trimmed

1 small head Savoy cabbage, trimmed, cored, thickly sliced

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

At least two hours in advance, cover the raisins with cognac in a small bowl and mascerate.  Drain off the cognac just before beginning this dish.  Add more cognac to measure 1/3 cup.

 

Cut the legs from the chicken.  Separate the thigh and drumstick. Trim back Cut off all but the last wing piece.  Cut out the wishbone and cut both breasts from the carcass.  Cut off the last wing joint with 1/3 of the breast meat.  You will have 8 pieces of meat.

 

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the meat pieces easily in a single layer.  Brown the bird pieces on all sides in the hot fat.   Remove the pieces to a plate and spoon out the fat remaining in the pan.  Return the bird pieces, add the cognac, and touch with a match to flame.  Stir in the drained raisins and the thinly sliced bacon. Lightly salt and grind on pepper.   Pour in the Pineau, cover, and cook slowly for 45 minutes.

 

After the first 15 minutes, heat the remaining tablespoon butter and oil in a small skillet and saute the turnip wedges until lightly browned.  Add them to the casserole.  Wipe clean, trim and half the mushrooms so that they are all the same size.  Sauté them briefly in the hot skillet and add to the covered casserole.  Cover the bird and vegetable pieces with the cabbage strips, replace the lid and continue cooking undisturbed.

 

The fricassée can be held for several hours.  To reheat, remove the bird and vegetable pieces.  Reduce the sauce, as needed, leaving enough to coat the meat and vegetables.  Return the bird pieces and vegetables and warm over low heat for 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly grated black pepper.