( Editor’s Note: You are in for a treat this week. We have a guest blogger who has agreed to reveal her family’s treasured recipe for Chicken Fricassee. Sue and I have had the great fortune of enjoying this recipe many times.)
The Lenglet’s Famous Chicken Fricassee
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil
32 oz tomato sauce
8 oz tomato paste
4 tablespoons Sofrito (see picture; can be found in Spanish Markets)
1 packet of Sazon con Azafran (see picture; can be found in Spanish Markets)
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup water
¼ onion, chopped
Garlic salt, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
Place the drumsticks into a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil on top; add Adobo powder until there is a light coat covering the chicken; empty the Sazon packet over the chicken. Use a cooking brush to paint the ingredients until the chicken is orange (from the Sazon).
Heat up a large saucepan on medium. Spray with cooking spray.
Add chicken into the saucepan; add the water and the white wine. Add the onion Let chicken saute for 15 minutes (it doesn’t have to be completely cooked).
Pour the tomato sauce and the tomato paste into a large pot. Add garlic salt. Add 2 table spoons olive oil. Add the salt. Add the pepper. Stir.
Add the Chicken and other sautee’d ingredients to the large pot, and set burner to medium and cook for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to “low”, and allow it to cook for 30-40 minutes. stirring occasionally.
This dish tastes really good served with plantains. Here’s a quick recipe for those!
½ cup olive oil
2 large green plantains
Cut up the plantains into 1 inch slices
Add olive oil to a sauce pan on high; add plantains and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove plantains and put into a bowl; let cool for 2 minutes.
Use a plantain smasher, or a paper bag, to flatten the plantains into circles.
Add back into the oil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic salt as they cook.
Plate the Lenglet’s Famous Chicken Fricassee, top with a little sauce, add the plantains and enjoy the mixture of French and Puerto Rican cuisine.
Before making Chicken Fricassee for the purposes of this blog, I had never once written a recipe down. I grew up with a French father and a Puerto Rican mother who created eclectic and delicious recipes that cannot be found in any recipe books. My father’s quail over linguini, sautéed clams, and barbequed pizza came from his heart , the creative side of his brain, and his desire to entertain. On any given weekend when I was a child, there was a party at my house that included karaoke, wine, and a delicious array of my father’s cuisine. From escargot, which I tried for the first time at the age of 4, to flambéed steak and steamed mussels, my palette was ready for anything. My mother’s fried plantains, pork chops with rosemary, and fresh pinto beans were derived from her mother’s authentic Puerto Rican cooking, and designated for dinner during the week. Her recipes were much simpler, but delicious nonetheless; because my father had a weak heart, and she was much more capable of making healthier fare, we ate my mother’s cooking most of the time.
When my father died in 2002 ( I was 17), I not only lost a part of me, but also a plethora of gourmet, intricate recipes I’ll probably never be able to emulate. I spent the better part of my dating life from ages 18-21 letting boyfriends think that I had created an authentic Puerto Rican dish, when it was really my mother’s hands behind the plantain cutting and smashing, and the chicken marinating. And even when I moved to DC 7 months ago with my boyfriend Matt, I would call my mother to give me step-by-step tutorial of pinto beans, or arroz con pollo. Being a spoiled only child, I never bothered writing anything down.
“Mom! Matt’s going to be home in 15 minutes! How do I marinate the chicken?” I would wail.
As the amazing mother she was, she would talk to me patiently until the recipe was complete. She passed away 2 months ago, but I can still hear her voice in my head, reading off ingredients as if she were reading them from a cookbook.
Despite my parents’ differences in cooking tastes, they collaborated on a few dishes, one being their Chicken Fricassee, a Puerto Rican dish that consists of chicken, spices, and tomato sauce. When Roger asked me to write this blog, I solicited help from my aunt to recreate it, and remembered my parents’ words, the love they put into their food, and the love they gave to me.
Good Eating and Table Talk,