Fricassee is the French name for a stew which has been used in British cooking for centuries. It contains chicken, rabbit or veal and vegetables, and is finished with cream and egg yolks. This version gets its appetising green colour from spinach, which also adds its own subtle flavour.
30 ml (2 tbsp) plain wholemeal flour
salt and pepper
4 chicken quarters, halved
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
300 ml (1/2 pint) dry white wine
900 g (2 lb) spinach, trimmed
2 egg yolks
150 ml (5 fl oz) fresh single cream
45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
freshly grated nutmeg
1. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then use to coat the chicken. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken until browned on all sides. Pour in the wine, cover and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
2. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash the spinach, then put into a large saucepan with just the water clinging to the leaves. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook for about 5 minutes or until the spinach is just tender. Drain very thoroughly, then transfer to a large casserole.
3. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the spinach. Cover and bake at 170°C (325°F) mark 3 for 20 minutes.
4. When ready to serve, beat the egg yolks and cream together. Reheat the wine juices in the pan, then remove from the heat and stir in the cream and egg yolk mixture. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
5. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken and serve immediately with rice, noodles or baked potatoes.