Rick Stein’s chicken fricassee with morels

For me, this dish seems to be the very heart of French cuisine. It also happens to be a wonderful partner to a nice white burgundy. There are many versions of this dish – my own preference for the cooking wine is Noilly Prat but sherry would be a good substitute. 

chicken fricassee
James Murphy

SERVES 4

20g dried morels
40g unsalted butter
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
90g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
100ml Noilly Prat (or dry sherry)
130ml chicken stock (for homemade, see the book)
300g full-fat crème fraîche
salt and black pepper

1. Soak the morels in 200ml of tepid water for about 15 minutes, then drain them in a fine sieve over a bowl. Strain the liquid and reserve 75ml for the sauce. Rinse the morels under cold running water to remove any debris and dry them on kitchen paper. Cut them in half lengthways.

2. Melt half of the butter in a large sauté pan or frying pan. Fry the chicken breasts, skin-side down, for 2-3 minutes until light golden brown, then turn them over and repeat on the other side. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.

3. Add the remaining butter to the pan. Fry the shallot over a medium heat until softened, then add the morels and chestnut mushrooms and fry for a few minutes. Add the Noilly Prat or sherry, the morel soaking liquid and chicken stock, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the crème fraîche and stir, then put the chicken back in the pan, along with any juices that have seeped out. Cover the pan and cook the chicken over a medium heat for about 8 minutes or until it is cooked through. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper and serve immediately with pilaf rice or potatoes.

Get Rick’s book with 20 per cent off

rick stein secret france recipeRick Stein’s Secret France by Rick Stein will be published on Thursday 31 October by BBC Books, price £26. To pre-order a copy with free p&p for £20.80 until 10 November, visit mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155.