06 April 2009

Furbacher-Meals: Fricassee Chicken

Tonight my mom and I made my favourite Trinidadian meal: Fricassee Chicken! Many times I have sort of kind of "helped" while she cooked us this meal . . . This is the first time I actually made it myself.

Fricassee Chicken

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in large chunks
1 medium onion
1 large potato
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 green pepper (optional -- not in classic recipe)
1 tin sliced mushrooms
salt & pepper (LOTS of pepper)
garlic (1 heaping tsp, or a few cloves)
ketchup (at least double what's in the photo below)
Worchestershire sauce ("not too much" or "whatever you feel")
oil (LIBERALLY coat the bottom of the pan, about 1/4 inch)
sugar (about 1/3 cup)
(classic recipe uses real brown sugar)

Season chicken. Dice all the veggies. Mix the chopped onion in along with the seasonings and chicken. (Note: we also added shado beni, a traditional cilantro-based Trinidadian seasoning, but later decided it was a bad idea.)

Heat the oil (on high heat). Pour in sugar and allow to caramelize. It should become very dark -- but not burnt (or else it won't stick to the chicken.) Pour in the chicken mixture and coat with caramelized sugar. Stir occasionally and CAREFULLY, every few minutes, to make sure chicken picks up the sauce -- don't overstir, or the chicken won't brown properly. Scrape excess caramel from sides to prevent it from burning and add to the coating of the chicken.

Once chicken is browned to desired colour (about 5 to 10 minutes), turn heat down to medium. Slowly and carefully add water to sides of the pot, a spoonful at a time, to avoid diluting the chicken's colour (to a total of -- I say 1/2 cup; Mom says 1 cup), and mix in the carrots, potato and peppers (if using). Simmer until veggies are cooked (15 to 20 minutes maybe), adding the mushrooms about 10 minutes before it's done.

Serve with rice and veggies on the side.

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