Acadian Chicken Fricot – Fricot au Poulet Acadien
Fricot was and is a staple in many Acadian homes, and while different regions will vary in the preparation method, the method also varies from family to family within a region depending on which recipe has been handed down through the generations. It is widely recognized as a true Acadian dish!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
One 5-lb (2.25 kg) whole chicken (bone in, skin on)
10 cups (2.5 L) water
8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tsp (10 mL) chicken bouillon
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) summer savory (or substitute with 1/2 tsp/2 mL thyme and 1/2 tsp/2 mL sage)
In a large pot, boil chicken in 10 cups (2.5 L) water until tender, about 60 minutes. Remove chicken and strain and reserve the broth. Cool chicken and remove skin and meat from the bones. Roughly chop meat and set aside.
Return broth to the pot and add potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, bouillon, freshly ground pepper, summer savory, and chopped meat. Add water to cover if needed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve.
Dumplings for Fricot
Making dumplings to add to fricot is such an easy process and adds so much to the dish. There are as many ways to form the dumplings as there are ways to make fricot—some folks like to roll them into small balls, some drop them into the hot liquid with a tablespoon or teaspoon, and my mother liked to use a pair of scissors to cut the dough directly above the pot allowing the dough to fall into the hot liquid. There is no right or wrong way. I do, however, highly recommend them as they will add a lot of substance to your meal.
Makes 12 dumplings
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp (11 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork to gradually incorporate milk into the flour mixture. Using 2 teaspoons, drop dough into hot fricot or stew, cover pot, and cook for 15 minutes or until the dough is cooked through.
Note: Dumplings should be added to fricot during the final 20 minutes of cooking.