Likely invented as a way to serve the boiled chicken that results from making chicken soup, chicken fricassee is a homey, comforting dish. It was the only chicken dish that Gaby’s mother, Erna, ever made, and we have fond memories of eating her version. In a bit of alchemy, it combines additional flavors (the bright- ness of lemon, the sharpness of capers, and the umami quality of mushrooms bound together in a white sauce) to lift the blandness of boiled chicken to new heights.
This is a utilitarian recipe whose name adopts the French word both in Ger- many and in the United States, where chicken fricassee is well known. The name refers to a dish of stewed meat and vegetables that is bound together with a sauce, in most cases a roux-based white sauce. What marks this recipe as being Jewish is the fact that the roux—traditionally made with butter, and sometimes milk—is made without dairy here.
This is a very flexible recipe that can be made with any cooked chicken and broth you have on hand. If you use packaged chicken broth, be sure to adjust the amount of salt to taste.