Fricassée is a style of cooking described as a cross between sauté and a stew. It dates back to 1300 in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. And while chicken is the most common meat, any meat or fish — even vegetables — can be prepared this way.
This is a simple one-skillet dish served with rice or noodles. Here’s a food fun fact: Chicken Fricassée was the favorite dish of President Abraham Lincoln.
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 chicken breasts, with rib meat
Fine sea salt
Course, fresh ground pepper
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
28 oz. can diced Italian tomatoes
1/4 cup capers
1 cup pitted brie-cured black olives
1 cup pitted Picholine green olives
12 marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup dry white wine
In a large skillet, bring the oil to a medium-high heat. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken, and brown it, 5 minutes a side, turning carefully so as to not pierce or tear the skin. Once browned, remove chicken and place on a warming dish.
Reduce skillet to low and loosen chicken bits in bottom of the skillet. Add the fennel and onion and sweat, covered, until translucent, not browned.
Return chicken to skillet and add tomatoes (with juice), capers, olives, artichokes and wine (a Sauvignon Blanc works well).
Raise heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Season to taste.
Serve with a hearty red wine, rice or noodles, and a baguette.
Capt. John Wampler has worked on yachts big and small for more than 25 years. He’s created a repertoire of quick, tasty meals for crew to prepare for themselves to give the chef a break. Contact him through www.yachtaide.com. Comments on this column are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.