Thursday, November 3, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Fricassee

You know how I am always cooking on my grills but often say, "You could also cook this inside..." ?

Well tonight I actually cooked this inside, but you could cook this on your grill.  I had intended to cook most of this on the grill but a soaking shiver inducing rain invaded East Tennessee.  Being a big wimp, I cooked inside instead.

My parents gave me this great bowl set for my birthday over a month ago but I was waiting to come up with something suitable for them.  I wanted something Southwestern to match the festive colors but also something that reminded me of my childhood.  One of my favorite dishes that my mom made when I was a kid was chicken fricassee.  So I took a Southwestern spin on chicken fricassee. 

Southwestern Chicken Fricassee
Servings:  6 

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups cream of garlic soup
For the Cream of Garlic Soup
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup coarse chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped 
  • 3 slices bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup half and half or cream
  1. Preheat a wide bottomed pan and a large skillet over medium heat.  
  2. Add 2 Tbsp oil to the pan and saute the garlic, bell pepper, and shallot for 2 minutes.  
  3. Add the bread, toss to coat in the oil and continue cooking another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Stir in the broth, pepper, oregano and pepper flake.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile work on the chicken - season the chicken thighs with the salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic.
  6. Add 2 Tbsp oil to the skillet and brown the chicken thighs skin side down.  This took about 5 minutes for me to get a nice golden color.
  7. Flip and sear the other side for 2 minutes. 
  8. Add the 1 1/2 cups broth, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and braise for 25 minutes or until the thighs reach an internal temperature of 175f (I like my thighs done well).
  9. Back to the soup - after 15 minutes, whisk the soup mixture rapidly for 1 minute to break up all of the bread into a smooth consistency.  Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  10. Slightly beat the egg in a large bowl.  Whisk 1 1/2 cups of the hot soup into the egg.  Now whisk this mixture back into the rest of the soup.  
  11. Stir in the cream, taste for seasoning, and remove from heat. 
  12. Put it all together - Drain all but 1/2 cup of the juice from the chicken pan.  Add in enough of the cream of garlic soup to come up to the edges of the thighs.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes.
  13. Serve in bowls with plenty of the flavorful soup mixture.  
For a full meal and nice presentation, serve with a timbale of yellow rice and peas.
The cream of garlic soup is great on its own too!
If you like a spicier soup base, double the red pepper flake, add chipotle pepper, or use red serrano or jalapeno instead of red bell pepper.
When browning the thighs, a lot of fat will render out, don't be alarmed.

You could also finish the braise in a 400f oven.  Stove top was just easier.

This recipe was actually inspired by and created for this bowl.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

It was just the four of us eating but all 6 thighs, the extra soup and all the rice disappeared amongst grunts of satisfaction.  The recipe was a little more involved than most that I do but the results were well worth it.  One thing I wanted to add but ran out of time was some masa harina dumplings.  Maybe next time but it really didn't need it.  I can't wait to try this one on my Big Green Egg using a Dutch oven.

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