With creamy white wine sauce and a medley of chicken, carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions, this classic chicken fricassee recipe is certain to become a favorite. 

Image of chicken fricassee in a black skillet.

Reportedly one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite dishes, chicken fricassee originated in Europe in the mid-16th century. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) You can even find the recipe in Julia Child’s historic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I love it because it’s so good! Tender chicken, gently cooked in a delicious creamy wine sauce, with carrots, mushrooms and sweet pearl onions, flavored with a splash of lemon and fresh dill. Yum!

I’m sure you’ll love this chicken fricassee recipe as much as I do. Prepare it for a family dinner or serve it to company, it’s perfect for both. Homey and elegant. 

Image of dark meat chicken pieces in creamy lemon dill sauce.

About this Chicken Fricassee Recipe:

Okay, you know I’m not Julia Child! I try to keep recipes simple and accessible to every cook (sorry, Julia, not trying to draw comparisons here). This chicken fricassee recipe will take a little time in the kitchen but it’s not difficult. You can do it!

And you can make it all in one pan.

Begin by sautéing chicken pieces in a large, oven proof skillet. I like to use skin on, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks. You don’t need to get a deep brown color, just a nice golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan, and put the vegetables in. I use carrots, mushrooms, and pearl onions. When they are softened and browned, add the garlic and stir for one minute. That’s the sauté part.

Easy so far, right? Now we’ll make the roux. Add butter to the pan and melt it. Throw in a little flour and keep stirring until the flour coats everything and smells kind of nutty. 

Ready for the sauce? Pour in chicken broth and white wine. Stir well, and then nestle the chicken pieces right into the vegetables and sauce. Pop the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking the chicken. This is the braising part.

When the chicken is finished cooking, remove the skillet from the oven (don’t forget to use a hot pad for that handle) and take the chicken out of the skillet. Over medium heat, simmer the sauce and vegetables until the sauce has thickened up a bit, then stir in 1/2 cup cream, a squeeze of lemon, and fresh dill.

Voila! You’ve just made a classic French fricassee. Julia would be proud!

Image of an easy chicken fricassee recipe, chicken with mushrooms, carrots, and pearl onions.

What does chicken fricassee mean?

Ready for cooking school? Fricassee describes a traditional French cooking method, or really, a combination of two cooking methods, sautéing and braising. Sautéing is done with a small amount of oil and a high cooking temperature. Braising, or stewing, is accomplished with added liquids and a lower cooking temperature. A fricassee recipe is usually chicken (or other meat) that’s been sautéed lightly and then braised. Chicken fricassee is braised in a creamy white sauce. 

Overhead image of one pan chicken fricassee in the skillet it was prepared in.

How to make this Chicken Fricassee your own:

  • Omit the cream and butter for a lighter or non-dairy version. 
  • Instead of pearl onions, substitute one cup chopped yellow onion.
  • Use bone in chicken breasts, or a cut up whole chicken. Or, if you prefer, remove the skin from the chicken. Or use boneless skinless chicken. Basically, any chicken you want!
  • Don’t like to use alcohol when cooking? Substitute the wine with an additional 1/2 cup chicken broth.

Image of chicken thighs and drumsticks in a creamy lemon dill and white wine sauce.

What to serve with Chicken Fricassee

Chicken fricassee is traditionally served with white rice, mashed potatoes, or buttered noodles. You’ll want to serve it with something that can soak up all that lovely sauce. A crusty bread would be great, too. 

Storage and Reheating Tips

Properly wrapped, leftover chicken fricassee should last 2-3 days in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave, or in a pan on the stove.

Love classic chicken dishes?

If you like chicken fricassee, you may want to try these classic recipes:

 

Image of chicken fricassee in a black skillet.

Chicken Fricassee Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

With creamy white wine sauce and a medley of chicken, carrots, mushrooms and pearl onions, this chicken fricassee recipe is certain to become a favorite. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pearl onions (about 8 oz)
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch slices
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, washed and cut in half or quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. 
  2. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and add to hot oil. Brown for 7-8 minutes on each side and then remove to a plate. 
  3. Discard extra oil/fat in pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
  4. Add onions, carrots, mushrooms, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are golden brown.
  5. Add garlic and continue to cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add butter and stir to melt. Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes or until flour is absorbed and smells slightly nutty. Stir in wine and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly reduced, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in chicken broth and lemon juice. 
  6. Nestle chicken into pan juices and place in oven. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is 165ºF when checked with an instant read thermometer.
  7. Remove chicken to a clean plate and cover with foil. Place pan over medium heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. 
  8. Reduce heat to low and stir in heavy cream and dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Return chicken to pan and serve with rice, potatoes, or pasta. 

Notes

  • Omit the cream and butter for a lighter or non-dairy version. 
  • Instead of pearl onions, substitute one cup chopped yellow onion.
  • Use bone in chicken breasts, or a cut up whole chicken. Or, if you prefer, remove the skin from the chicken. Or use boneless skinless chicken. Basically, any chicken you want!
  • Don't like to use alcohol when cooking? Substitute the wine with an additional 1/2 cup chicken broth.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 742Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 337mgSodium: 957mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 61g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: Love, love, love this recipe! I’m a big fan of pretty much anything with lemon and dill…throw in cream and I’m really sold on it.
Husband’s take: Ben loves this too, right up his alley.
Changes I would make: None at all, but try some of our suggestions!
Difficulty: A little more hands-on than some of my other recipes, but still very easy.