“So, what are you cooking for tonight?”
That’s the question our long-time (30 years and counting) help asks me every single Saturday because it’s my night to cook. Of course, I end up answering her question with one of my own: “What’s in the fridge?” Answer to said follow-up question usually determines what we end up having for dinner.
This weekend, I didn’t have to ask what was in the fridge. I knew well enough that I still had a couple of skinned chicken breast fillets and a few Hungarian sausages in the freezer. There was also a tub of sliced-up Hoc Siu ham and a number of other things. I was, however, at a loss as to what to do with the lot.
Luckily, I was browsing through a back issue of BBC Good Food and spotted a recipe for French-style chicken with peas and bacon. That sounded like a fairly good notion, only I didn’t have any Little Gem lettuce or creme fraiche in the kitchen. Where there’s a will, of course, there’s always a way…
The resulting dish looked nothing like the original (recipe for which can be found online here), but it tasted good and was certainly a change from most of our usual meals. I can’t really use the original name for it, so I just refer to it as chicken and sausage fricassee and pretty much leave it alone at that. Try it in your own kitchen; the rich sauce and tender, flavorful meats are bound to appeal to diners of all ages.
Chicken and Sausage Fricassee
- 2 chicken breast fillets, cut into large cubes
- 2 chicken thigh fillets, cut into large cubes
- 1 Hungarian sausage or chorizo de Bilbao, sliced on the bias
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- 300mL water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 5 large leaves Savoy/Chinese cabbage (wombok), cut into strips
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 fatty slices ham, cut into slivers
In a large saucepan over medium heat, dry-fry the ham and sausage until the fat melts. Remove the ham and sausage and saute the onion and garlic in the fat until softened and fragrant. Add the chicken; cook until slightly browned. Return the ham and sausage to the pan. Pour in the water and add the bouillon cube. Stir until the bouillon cube has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Uncover the pan and add the cabbage and peas. Cover and cook an additional four minutes. Uncover, then add the milk and cream cheese, stirring till the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and serve with plain rice or mashed potatoes.