When the cold winds of winter blow, all I want for dinner are warm nourishing comfort foods like hearty casseroles and rich stews. Unfortunately though, most of those dishes are high in calories and fat and kind of on the unhealthy side. So when I saw this recipe for a lighter version of the classic French dish, I did what I normally do--clip it out of the magazine, stash it in a folder and promptly forget about it for 7 years!!! You'd think it was a fine wine that I was aging!! Fortunately for me, my family and now you, I unearthed it recently and the rest is happy-dance-kitchen history!! Guys, this dish is so yummy and flavorful and easy to make (almost-one-pot) that I predict it's going to find its way into your regular repertoire. Every 7 years or so, it seems I do something right!!
Generally, chicken fricassee (and how much do you love that word?!) a rustic dish of chicken simmered with vegetables in a rich, silky sauce, gets its deliciousness from the butter, cream, egg yolks and flour that help to make up that sauce. Here, none of those are present, replaced instead by low-fat sour cream and nonfat Greek yogurt and while the sauce is less creamy than the traditional version, you will love the taste and won't feel guilty or weighed down after you've finished your meal, which is really another way of saying that you can have a bite or two of some sinfully rich dessert. It's all about balance, right?
Every bite is full of tender chicken and mushrooms and the sauce is wonderful mopped up with a piece of good bread or some rice or pasta. I didn't hear any complaints from the home judges and neither will you! Make this asap--there's technically only about another month of winter left!!
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Fricassee-Lightened Up
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: About one hour and 30 minutes (but only about 30 minutes is active)
- 3 1/2-4 pounds bone-in chicken breasts (or any combination of parts you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and arrange chicken pieces, skin-side up on it. Season chicken with salt and pepper and roast for about 1 hour until the chicken is entirely cooked through and the skin is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Stir every now and then. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat to high, cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then until the mushrooms are soft and beginning to brown. Add in the garlic and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Then add in the broth and let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sour cream and yogurt. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
3. Add the chicken back in, skin-side up and place the pot back over the burner. Cook over medium heat, letting the liquid simmer, until the chicken is hot. Plate the chicken, spooning some of the sauce over it and finishing it off with a scattering of the parsley.
Note: Recipe adapted from a November 2010 issue of Food and Wine Magazine. I tinkered around with this a lot, changing ingredients and proportions.