Chicken with Sherry and Mushrooms

Got hold of James Paterson’s Meat: A Kitchen Education and came across the following recipe. It is classified under chicken fricassee which is  chicken simmered with broth, cream, mushrooms, and pearl onions, and the sauce is thickened with egg yolks. It describes a specific technique: cooking partly in fat, partly in liquid. The chicken is lightly sauteed on both sides until it barely begins to brown, the cooking fat is thrown out, and liquid is added. The chicken finishes cooking in the simmering liquid, and the liquid, usually based on broth, is converted into a sauce. A point that he highlighted: Nowadays, a fricassee chicken is almost impossible to distinguish from a sauteed one.

Makes 2 main-course servings

3 – 4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 dry sherry
140g button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 heavy cream

1. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Use a non-stick skillet just big enough to accommodate the pieces in a single layer, without crowding.

2. Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat. When the butter froths, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the skin barely begins to brown. Turn the chicken over, flesh side down and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter, and pour the fat out of the pan.

3. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, add the sherry and mushrooms, and place over low heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is just form to the touch. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover, and place in a warm spot.

4. Add the cream to the liquid in the pan, stir with a whisk to dissolve the glaze and boil down over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce forms a lightly syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

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