Creole Chicken Fricassee
Traditionally, Creole cooks used a whole chicken they had fattened up for the occasion, but feel free to substitute a mix of your favorite chicken pieces. (If you substitute all meaty chicken pieces, you will be able to serve 6). The browned flour and onion mixture will simmer down to a rich gravy so plan to have a bed of rice to soak up every last spoonful.
ook bacon in a 12-inch deep (3-inch) heavy skillet or flameproof casserole over medium heat, turning, until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
Meanwhile stir together 1/3 cup flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper in a shallow bowl.
Heat bacon fat in skillet over medium high heat until hot. Dredge half of chicken in seasoned flour, knocking off excess, then brown in fat, turning occasionally, and transfer to a platter. Dredge and brown remaining chicken in same manner. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet, then reduce heat to medium. (Use vegetable oil if you do not have enough fat.) Add remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook roux, stirring, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add stock, herb sprigs, cayenne and bay leaf, then bring to a boil, stirring up brown bits. Add chicken with any juices, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Fricassee can be made 1 day ahead without chopped herbs. Reheat, then stir in herbs.
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