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Variations on chicken fricassee

Fricassees amount to inventive stews with concentrated flavors and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (2d ed. 1989), the term first appears in a 1568 reference to “seuen manner of fricasies.” They have fallen from favor in the English kitchen but remain popular among traditional New England cooks, whose numbers admittedly are declining despite the renewed interest in regional foodways. Fricassees also have been reinvented in Louisiana with the addition of darkened roux and the state trinity of celery, onion and peppers. Our base version is a bit of a hybrid that adds some traditional English flavors and seasonings to the older and plainer style. It is derived from The New Orleans Cookbook by Rima and Richard Collin. Check the lyrical to find out why we consider it English. Additional fricassees appear in this recipe chain below the initial notes.