This easy Chicken Fricasée dish has a creamy sauce that tastes and feels rich but it is actually quite light. It might be light on calories but not on flavor!
This recipe is originally from Cooking Light's April 2000 edition! I have obviously been making it for years. It is quite quick to make so it can easily be made 'a la minute' as they say. I have also made it in a large casserole dish and frozen it ahead of time. I'll tell you the trick to that as I go!
- First a note on chicken hygiene. When you first remove the browned chicken breasts from the pan, move them to a clean plate. When you return them to the pan get rid of that plate. You can't use it again until it has been properly washed- not just rinsed under the tap. So get out a second, clean plate for the second time you remove the chicken from the pan.
- The other thing to note is -do not subsitute lower fat cream in this sauce. It will separate and ruin your sauce when it comes to a boil. The whipping cream can stand the simmering.
- This really is best when made just as you are about to serve but I have on occasion wanted to serve it for a large gathering. What I do then is double the sauce liquid ingredients. I prepare the entire recipe but to assemble I cover the bottom of a deep baking dish with the orzo after it has cooled. I position the cooked chicken breasts evenly around the orzo. Then I pour ½ the sauce over the dish, cover tightly and freeze. I freeze the other half of the sauce separately. When it is time to serve I bake the frozen dish covered with foil for about 1 hour at 350 degrees. I heat the extra sauce separately and pour it over the plate as I am serving it up. The reason for this is the pasta will absorb the sauce and your dish won't have any noticeable sauce. So by doubling the sauce, the first half keeps the orzo and chicken moist and the second half, heated separately makes the final sauce.
Wine Pairing for Chicken Fricasée
A creamy Chardonnay would be a great match for the cream sauce here. But any neutral white like a Muscadet Sèvre et Maine or a Pinot Grigio would work too. As I always suggest - it is a subtle thing but it always works if you plan to serve the same wine that you used in making the sauce.
Chicken Fricassée with Orzo
- 4 4oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tsps butter
- ¾ cup green onion chopped
- ½ cup carrot finely diced
- ½ cup cooked ham diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup Chardonnay or dry white wine
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- 1 ½ cups orzo pasta
- ¼ cup fresh parsley minced
- Cook orzo according to package instructions. This usually means bringing a big pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling add orzo and cook about 9 minutes. Drain when done. Do not rinse.
- While the orzo water is coming to a boil prepare the chicken. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large skillet. (Skillet will eventually hold the chicken and the sauce). Add chicken and brown about 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan.
- Add onion, carrot, ham and garlic to saucepan. Sauté about 4 minutes over med/high heat. Stir in wine and then broth, scraping up browned bits from bottom of the pan.
- Return chicken to the pan, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan again and cover to keep warm. Add the whipping cream and cook uncovered about 8 minutes. Add the chicken breasts back in about 3 minutes before the end.
- Spoon ¾ cup of orzo onto each serving plate. Top with a chicken breast and spoon ¼ of the sauce over each plate. Garnish with parsely.