Chicken Fennel Fricassee Lite, with artichokes, mushrooms and capers

By • October 4, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This started as a clean out the crisper and fridge kind of recipe, which has morphed into one of my favorite go to dishes when I want to make something that will last a few nights in a row through a busy week. Tastes divine, and isn't hard to make. It also departs from a traditional fricassee with all the butter and cream, by using fat free half and half and Greek yogurt to give it creaminess and some acidity. I serve it over a wild rice blend that I buy in bulk, but it would be great over egg noodles or couscous as well. Burnt Offerings

Serves 4 - 6

  • 1 + tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into slivers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly into half moons
  • 8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained, saving the liquid, and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
  • 1/4 cup artichoke liquid from drained artichokes.
  • 1/2 lemon - squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/4 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Mix the flour and Creole seasoning in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Dry the chicken thighs THOROUGHLY with paper towels (the drier they are, the better they brown), and toss one or two at a time into the ziplock bag to coat with the flour mixture thoroughly.
  3. Heat a large, deep, non stick skillet that has a tight fitting lid, and add 1 TBL olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Heat until the butter is foaming.
  4. Shake the excess flour mixture off of the chicken thighs and add them to the skillet. Don't crowd them, and work in batches if needed. Brown them on each side, about 3 minutes, until golden brown, and remove them to a plate.
  5. Add more olive oil to the pan if needed, turn the heat down to medium, and toss in the fennel, onions, artichokes, and mushrooms, scraping up the browned bits in the pan as the vegetables lose their moisture. Saute the vegetables for about 5 minutes, and add in the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and tarragon, and sauté for another minute or two.
  6. Turn the heat down to low, and add in the sherry or wine, artichoke juice, squeeze in half a lemon, and mix well. If you don't want to use alcohol - just use chicken broth, or more of the artichoke juice.
  7. Add the chicken thighs back in, along with any juices from the plate, cover, and simmer very gently for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a clean plate, turn the heat back up to medium, and add in the half and half, yogurt, salt, pepper, and capers. Simmer until thickened and reduced. Mine usually doesn't need more than a minute or two at this point. TASTE the sauce for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  9. Remove from heat, and serve. Place a thigh or two on plate over some wild rice or pasta, and ladle the vegetable cream sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.
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