I grew up on Julia Child. Other than nonna Angelina herself, no one inspired my love affair with cooking more. While other kids were eating milk and cookies and watching cartoons, I ran home to make rice and cheese and sit down to the latest instalment of The French Chef. And I practically memorized my Mom's original 1963 edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking while I was still a teenager living at home. So when I saw Julie and Julia with my folks, I broke out my own well-worn, dog-eared, nearly-falling-apart-at-the-seams 1986 edition, purchased when I was living in New York after law school, and starting reacquainting myself with an old friend. But the dish I was yearning for was not boeuf bourguignon. As much as I love that dish, my favorite dishes from Mastering were the chicken fricassées. And this is one is perhaps the most sumptuous of all—fit for a lovely Sunday dinner: fricassée de volaille à l'ancienne, or "Old Fashioned Chicken Fricassee with Wine-Flavored Cream Sauce, Onions and Mushrooms", on page 258.
As Julia says, this is not a difficult dish to execute. But it does involve a fair number of steps, so plan on spending a good hour and a half or even two hours, depending on how fast you work in the kitchen. The good part is, it can be made entirely ahead of time and finished off just before serving. Here is my (somewhat abridged) version of Julia's recipe.
- See recipe
- See recipe link below for directions