Tuscany Now & More invites dynamic duo chefs, Pippo and Guia to share a collection of their favourite Tuscan recipes. Pollo in Fricassea (“Chicken Fricassée”) is a typical dish in Tuscan cuisine. While the word ‘fricassée’ is french, the etymology is uncertain as there is much speculation that Catherine de’Medici introduced this cooking technique to the French. After her marriage to King Henry II, the influential Italian queen is credited for bringing many Florentine dishes and techniques to Renaissance France — Pollo in Fricassea being one of them.
Fricassée is a hybrid cooking method that falls halfway between a sauté and a stew, particular with white meat. What distinguishes this slow cooking technique from a stew, is that the meat isn’t browned before the braising liquid is added. Rather, the meat is cooked in oil or fat at low temperatures, resulting in a tender and moist consistency. With no great skill, but little patience, this recipe makes a great main course, accompanied by your choice of a side.
Pollo in Fricassea (Chicken Fricassée)
Serves 4 - Cook in 1 hour
- 4 chicken breast, cut into large chunks
-7 spring onions, cleaned and bottoms sliced off
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 litre chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 200ml white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 10 salvia leaves
- Sprig of rosemary
- Parsley (optional)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Place some olive oil in a tall, large saucepan (enough to cover the surface area) and add spring onions, garlic cloves, salvia leaves, and a sprig of rosemary. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and continue to cook, making sure to brown on both sides.
On high heat, deglaze the chicken with white wine. Once the alcohol evaporates, reduce the heat and add enough broth (chicken or vegetable) to cover the chicken. Cover and leave the chicken to braise for 30 minutes. (N.B There should be enough cooking liquid throughout; add more broth if needed).
Remove the saucepan from the heat and discard the rosemary and salvia leaves. Beat egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl, and then stir delicately into the chicken. (N.B This should be done with no heat, as you don’t want to risk scrambling the eggs). Continue stirring until the cooking liquid thickens into a light, creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and if you want a pinch of parsley. Serve your pollo in fricassea warm. Buon appetito!