Chicken Fricassee with Apples
This old-fashioned dish of savory chicken, rich cream, and sharp apples is an exercise in balance.
Why This Recipe Works
Chicken fricassee is an old-fashioned country dish of stewed chicken in a creamy sauce. For our version, we dredged the chicken breasts lightly in flour before sautéing, which not only protected the chicken’s exterior from becoming tough while cooking but also thickened the sauce and gave it body. Equal parts cider and chicken broth created a savory yet fruit-forward balance while cream and cider vinegar finished the dish with richness and brightness. Adding vibrant apples to the mix created a complex and delicate sweetness that enhanced the savory chicken. Fuji, Gala, and Braeburn apples remained sweet once cooked (unlike Granny Smith apples, which tasted sour) and contributed the best apple flavor. Browning the apples in butter (and adding them back to the skillet to warm through once the chicken was cooked) gave them beautiful color without overcooking them and added complex caramelized flavor to the sauce. Additionally, searing the apples set their pectin and helped them retain their shape.