Poultry Possibilities

Grandma’s Sunday Supper (Chicken Fricassee with Vegetables & Light Slaw)

August 8, 2020

When I grew up in nineteen-seventies Chicago, Sundays were family days. We’d drive to Grandma’s little brick bungalow on the South side and aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather. While the grownups talked, we kids would run to the corner park to climb on and jump off anything we could find. Bored of that, we’d play blind-mans-buff, or, some sort of ball game in the alley until we lost the ball. 

But afternoons would always finish with everybody around the big, dark-walnut dining room table for this delicious meal: fricasseed chicken & onions, green beans and carrots, whipped potatoes with gravy and a light slaw grandma made by shredding iceberg lettuce with a little cabbage, and dousing it in a sweet/sour dressing. The plain, friendly flavors marry well. I’ve updated the recipe just a bit (Grandma didn’t use panko bread crumbs, and I often roast garlic to make the mashed potatoes garlic mashed.) But this remains our favorite family comfort meal–add sweet corn and garden tomatoes in the summer. And put out pickles if you’ve made some!

Grandma’s Sunday Supper (Chicken Fricassee with Vegetables & Light Slaw)
Serves 8
This meal was my childhood Sunday-supper staple, eaten at Grandma's house on the south side of Chicago
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Grandma's Chicken
  1. 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  2. 6 chicken drumsticks
  3. 3 cups flour
  4. 2 tsp sweet paprika
  5. 1 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 2 cups panko bread crumbs, or more, as needed
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 1 cup rice bran oil ( or other high-heat cooking oil)
  11. 1 medium yellow onion
  12. 1 Tbsp finely minced parsley
Grandma's Lettuce & Cabbage Slaw
  1. 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored, finely shredded
  2. 1/4 head green cabbage, cored, cabbage finely shredded
  3. 1 bunch green onions or chives, sliced fine (include some of the whites of the onions)
  4. 1 cup small cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  5. fresh cracked pepper
  6. salt
Slaw Dressing
  1. 2 Tbsp pure cane sugar (you can use turbinado or date-palm sugar, if you like)
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/3 cup mayonnaise, home-made, or Hellmans
Green Beans & Carrots & Whipped Potatoes
  1. 6 cups fresh green beans, ends snipped & discarded, beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  2. 1 cup carrots, cut into small pieces
  3. 1 tsp melted butter
  4. salt & pepper to taste
  5. For potatoes: Seven Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut into pieces, 1/4 cup milk, 2 Tbsp butter, salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pat chicken dry. In a large plastic bag, combine flour with paprika, pepper and salt.
  2. In a second bowl, whisk egg with buttermilk and season with ground pepper.
  3. In a third bowl, place bread crumbs.
  4. Set up an assembly line next to your stovetop. Place chicken first, bag of seasoned flour next, buttermilk/egg mixture third, and bread crumbs last.
  5. In a large heavy skillet, heat 1/2 cup cooking oil until shimmering.
  6. Take a piece of chicken, shake it in the seasoned flour bag, remove to the buttermilk/egg wash, roll to completely coat, remove from buttermilk and roll in the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken in frying pan.
  7. Repeat this process until your have filled the frying pan with chicken. Brown until crisp on one side; carefully turn chicken and brown until crisp on the second side.
  8. If there are more pieces of chicken, repeat process again.
  9. Remove the chicken to an oven roasting pan. Preheat oven to 350. Very thinly slice the onion and cover the chicken with onion rings. Sprinkle finely minced parsley over all. Cover roasting pan and place chicken in oven for 1 hour.
  10. While chicken is roasting, make vegetables: Combine sliced green beans with carrot pieces and steam until al dente. Toss with butter; salt and pepper to taste. Set aside; keep warm. Peel potatoes, cut into pieces and simmer in just-under-boiling water until tender. Drain water. Place cooked potatoes back in pan. Heat 1/4 cup milk and 2 Tbsp butter until hot. Add this, plus salt and pepper to taste, to the potatoes. Whip until light and fluffy. Set aside; keep warm.
  11. Make slaw: Combine lettuce, cabbage, green onion, salt, pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  12. Make dressing: In a jar, dissolve sugar in warm water; add vinegar and mayonnaise and shake until liquid, and no mayo lumps remain. (You can also whisk this mixture in a bowl, or, use an immersion blender.) Do not pour dressing over salad until right before dinner is served or salad will wilt. You might not need all of the dressing to coat the salad.
  1. The juices and bits of chicken and stuff that stick to the bottom of the roasting pan are the BEST parts! Scrape the chunkier bits out of the pan and over the chicken on the serving platter, and make gravy from the juices.
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