saffron and coriander chicken fricassee

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

We suck at hanging art work at home, it's one of the hardest things to do and the commercials of course make it looks easy. And clearly, it's one of the most stressful things you can do together as a couple! Getting equal spacing between random pieces of art on wall, maintaining some sort of uniformity and to keep it pleasing, is anxiety on my soul. And though M says no one will notice, I know I will. A slightly crooked frame will be an eye sore for eternity. So there we were, measuring tape, pencil, nails and a hammer. 4 frames, each hung at least twice! And we still have 12 more to go... and spots and stains to fix and repaint...

I've taken a lot of liberties with this fricassee and if you see my notes below, though the technique is similar, I've adapted it to make it easier and a little lighter and tried to give the dish a little Indian vibe. There's a pinch of saffron threads and smoky coriander for that rich color and flavor. A fricassee is a richly flavored one-pot French dish that gets flavored at different levels, the mirepoix, the herbs and spice add their magic to the chicken. There are a few steps to making it but it's one of the large batch dishes that you can make it in advance and save yourself some time during the week!

Usually, you should cook a fricasse in a medium-size heavy Dutch oven. Honestly, it does wonders for this dish because of it's heavy cast iron base and lid. The chicken cooks fast due to the uniform heat distribution and the steam, the chicken will have a tender texture once it is cooked. I used Le Creuset's new mix and match cast-iron dutch oven that comes with either a red or blue lid to match the colors of the French flag!

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this fricassee;

  • I cheat a little in this fricassee. I've skipped the boquet garni and the liasion. A fricassee can be pretty rich and heavy with cream and eggs, I skipped all of this and made the sauce creamy by emulsifying the liquid in the Dutch oven to give a creamy and silky sauce. 
  • If I'm craving a little bit of heat, I'll add a teaspoon of red chili flakes to the Dutch oven when I add the coriander. 
  • This is a great one pot meal, one you can prepare in advance and eat during the week. I also sometimes throw in a can of beans or some chopped char.
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee

yields: 6 servings

ingredients

4 lbs chicken legs with bone and skin, whole

1 tablespoon kosher sea salt

1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup white onion, diced

1 cup celery stalks, diced

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground

1/4 teaspoon saffron strands

1 cup white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc)

1 quart chicken broth, unsalted

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons tarragon, fresh chopped

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Pat the chicken dry with clean paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt the butter and the olive oil in a medium-sized Dutch oven (5.5 quarts) on medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, place the chicken skin down and brown on each side for about 5 minutes. The chicken pieces can be fried in batches. Remove from Dutch oven and keep the chicken aside on a clean plate. 

2. Reduce the heat to low and to the same Dutch oven, add the diced carrots, onions and celery. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until almost the vegetables start to just brown. Then add coriander and saffron and cook for another 30 seconds with constant stirring. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix until the no visible flecks of flour can be seen. 

3. Pour the wine and chicken broth into the Dutch oven and stir to mix. Increase heat to high and bring the contents to a a boil. Now return the browned chicken pieces to the Dutch oven along with the bay leaves. Cover with the lid and reduced heat to medium-high. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked (internal temperature 165F). Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove the chicken pieces and bay leaves. Now transfer 3/4 of this liquid left in the Dutch oven to a blender and pulse until almost smooth. Return the liquid to the Dutch oven, stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Now return the chicken back to the Dutch oven. Garnish with the chopped tarragon and parsley. Serve hot with a good rustic country bread. 

Disclaimer: This post sponsored by Le Creuset and Williams Sonoma. All opinions expressed are solely my own.