Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Glenn's Chicken Fricassee

You might have noticed that the vast majority of the recipes I post have someone's name in the title.

If I know you in "real life" and you cook--ever--I've probably forced you to give me the recipe for whatever it is you make that's my favorite. Or I've incorporated one of your tricks into one of my standards. (I got my beer-in-the-chili thing from you, Susanna. And one day I'll be brave enough to add Carol's pinch of cinnamon in my matzo balls, just to see what it does to them.)

But, hey, at least I give you credit for it, right?

Glenn is one of my oldest California friends; he, his partner, Baroy, and I all lived together for a couple of years in a West Hollywood apartment. It was Glenn who fed me ice chips while I labored with Em, and Baroy kept getting distracted by all the equipment and the crises that kept popping up. (It turned out fine in the end, of course.)

He's seriously good people. And he cooks. Well.

The meat-and-veggie-laden pasta sauce that is really the one recipe that Baroy makes regularly was originally Glenn's. (Don't worry. You'll get it here eventually.)

But the one that I glommed onto early on in our friendship was what Glenn called Chicken Fricassee, and so I do, too. But, really, it's not what most people would call fricassee. A real fricassee is supposed to use a whole chicken and be cut in a certain way, if I'm not mistaken. I believe there's often cream. And I don't know of too many other fricassee recipes that have meatballs in them.

This one has meatballs in it. They may be the best part.

The other best part? Is that it's one of those "throw in some of this" and "put as much as you want of that" recipes.

I like these kinds of recipes. They make me feel creative.

Glenn's Chicken Fricassee

Butter or margarine or (I don't think this would be as good, but to each his own) oil
Carrots and/or celery and/or whatever you have in the house that you'd like to add
Chicken pieces
Meatballs (either homemade or frozen premade)
Rice (see below for how to figure out amounts)
Water or chicken broth (see below for how to figure out amounts)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a dutch oven or other large pot, sautee onions and veggies in butter until onions are translucent.

2. Add chicken pieces, skin side down (if they have skin), and brown; flip and brown on other side. Salt and pepper the chicken if you'd like; if not, add salt and pepper later, or at the table. Whatevs!

3. Add enough water to cover chicken; keep track of how many cups you use. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover pot; cook chicken for about half an hour.

4. Add meatballs. If needed, add more water (and remember to keep track of this water as well) and bring again to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If the meatballs are homemade and raw, cook for at least another half an hour; if frozen and precooked, you can probably get away with just fifteen minutes.

5. Add rice--the amount depends on how much water's in the pot. Put in one cup of rice for every two cups of water you added. Add salt if you haven't already. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. (Yeesh. I sound like a broken record here.) Cover pot; cook until most or all of the liquid is absorbed, and rice is fluffy and tender. Serve.

And that's it. It takes a while to cook, but it's such a simple recipe. And oooohhhhh, it's good. Ultimate comfort food.

(More photos to come when I figure out why I can't find them!)

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