Chicken fricassee – comfort food for a wet Monday evening

First Saturday of the month and part of my morning routine is a trip to the Farmer’s Market in New Ferry. This last Saturday there was a nice man on the way in proffering a taste of his cider. Having tasted the five different varieties he had on offer I felt obliged to buy of litre of dry cider he had been keeping in old whiskey barrels. There was another that had been kept in old rum barrels and I should have bought some of that as well.  That will be for next month.

There was more cider inside and I persuaded myself to buy some more, so I now have three litres of cider in the cellar waiting for the right time to be opened. Should give me a chance to use some of the cider cups I have down there from a holiday in Brittany of about seven years ago.

After the cider I bought a free range chicken, a bunch of dirty carrots and some green beans. No cheese this month as the fridge is groaning with the stuff. As well as the cheese from Ireland there is still a half a ball of Edam to get through and a nice looking lump of Garstang Blue.

The chicken was roasted for Sunday lunch having been stuffed with an onion and herbs from the garden including some tarragon. We had it with some of the Kilcrohane potatoes we brought back from Ireland. There is a knack to boiling these potatoes. Take your eye off them at the wrong moment and they turn to mush in the pan. I got these just right and the crisped up beautifully in the hot oven.

There was plenty of chicken left so I picked every last shred of meat from the bones. I threw the carcass  into a pot of water together with the onion and herb stuffing and boiled it slowly all for half an hour. Strained it and put the stock in the fridge.

It only took 20 minutes to cook up a fricassee with all this earlier this evening.

I fried a finely chopped onion in some butter and when it was soft added a squashed chopped clove of garlic. Once this had cooked through for a few minutes I stirred in a tablespoon of flour and cooked that through for another few minutes. I then added the stock slowly and brought it all to a simmer. If there had been any white wine I could have thrown in a glass of that. Once it was simmering I stirred in the chicken and heated it through. Taste and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Before serving I added some chopped parsley. If I had not finished off the tarragon the previous day that would have worked well. As would a glass of the cider that is still in the cellar.

We ate it with boiled rice The Flaming Lips playing quietly in the background. There should be lots in The Flaming Lips for the kids to like so I am hoping that if I keep it in the machine for a few nights one of them will twig and ask me what it is.

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