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Chicken-Mushroom Fricassee with Tarragon

Updated February 23, 2016
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Fricassée conjures up images of old-fashioned boardinghouse meals and matronly cooks in gingham aprons, but this quick version of the farmhouse favorite is anything but stodgy. Tarragon is one of the first herbs to pop up in the spring garden, and it’s put to good use here as a fragrant and flavorful accent. I love the simplicity of this no-frills recipe, but there are plenty of ways to jazz it up. You could serve it on egg noodles, or pass a basket full of freshly baked biscuits.

Every kitchen should have shallots, just as most have onions and garlic. Shallots look like very small red onions, and have a similar flavor, but because they’re stronger than onions, you can use less. One average-size shallot, which contains two lobes under the papery brown skin, will yield about 3 tablespoons chopped shallot.

4 to 6 servings

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationmain course

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • 1 pound cremini (baby portobello) or white button mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 shallots)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 cups milk, heated
  • Hot cooked egg noodles, for serving

Instructions

Prep: Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and cook until they soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and tarragon and mix well. Stir in milk and bring to simmer.

Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over noodles and serve.

Variations

Substitute 1 cup chicken broth for an equal amount of milk.

Add 3 tablespoons dry sherry to the skillet with the milk; substitute chopped fresh parsley for the tarragon (do not use dried parsley).

Dressing It Up:

Add ½ cup chopped roasted red peppers and/or 1 cup thawed frozen peas to the fricassée during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Stir in ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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