Adapted from Marcella Hazan
Fricassee means meat (usually chicken) which is sauteed and then stewed with vegetables.  Like most stews and braises, it is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal; the kind of thing that warms your body and makes your soul feel good too.  In this version of chicken fricassee, chicken is browned and then stewed with slow-cooked onions.  The result is surprisingly creamy and slightly sweet.  The secret ingredient is slow-cooked onions.

Making it is easy. There are only a few ingredients, and it takes very little effort.  It does; however, take some time.  The onions need to cook for 1 hour by themselves and then an additional 45 minutes with the chicken.  Remember, though, it mostly cooks by itself.  You don’t have to do much except wait.  If you don’t have the time on a weeknight, think about cooking fricasseed chicken on a lazy Sunday and then serving it on Monday.  All it needs is reheating; and the flavor actually gets better after sitting for a day.

Note:  If you do make this dish a day ahead, be sure to leave out the parsley until you serve it.
Note:  This dish goes beautifully with a fresh mixed green salad and French bread.  We served it with steamed green beans as well.

For Onions:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 cups onions, sliced very thin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Chicken:
One 21/2 – 3 lb chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup flour, spread on a plate or put into a large ziplock bag
2 Tbsp Cognac
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

1. COOK ONION: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over MEDIUM HIGH. When oil is hot, add onions and stir 1-2 minutes. Turn heat down to LOW, cover, and cook until very soft, 1 hour. When done, remove cover from pan and season onions with salt and pepper. Increase heat to MEDIUM HIGH and saute until onion turns golden brown. Remove from heat.

2. COOK CHICKEN: Wash and pat chicken dry with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over MEDIUM HIGH heat. Dredge chicken pieces in flour shaking off the excess. When oil is hot, add chicken to the pan in batches so that they cook without touching. Brown chicken on all sides and then remove to a platter. Season with salt and pepper.

3. COMBINE: When all chicken pieces are browned, add them to the pot of onions. Cook chicken and onions on MEDIUM HIGH uncovered for about 5 minutes, turning the chicken a few times. Add Cognac, stir to combine, and then cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Peace and love from my kitchen to yours,



  1. David says:

    So was it tasty? Making it again?

  2. Waverly says:

    Marcella Hazan, David! I haven't made anything from her cookbooks that I haven't liked. This dish was delicious, actually, and I have now made it several times. I like it because it is really basic – simple to make – but unlike many basic dishes, it has lots of personality. Yes, this is a staple now. You should give it a try.

  3. David says:

    Thanks for your report. It looks delicious. I might make it next weekend. My favourites are chicken with red cabbage (Essentials) and chicken with rosemary white wine cherry tomatoes and olives (Cucina). I blog here:
    I also like the smothered onion pasta from Essentials when done right. Who doesn't like onion, and fricasseed chicken is the best chicken technique….

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