All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014
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This is another easy one & It could probably even be made in a slow cooker. I browned the vegan chicken – really just for texture – so it isn’t totally necessary. Beyond that – you kinda just throw everything together. This makes enough for two easily – maybe even four if you served it over rice or noodles of mashed potato – or even mashed cauliflower.
This dish is flavorful but a rare NON-spicy dish for me. Apparently, Abraham Lincoln was a very finicky eater but this was one of his favorite dishes – so it is obviously an old classic. Lots of recipes call for heavy cream but I lightened this up by using a mixture of my light (homemade) almond milk & cornstarch. The result is a dish that tastes like the filling for a pot pie – just without a crust. Mild & comforting!
Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon
Serves 2 – more if you add rice or noodles or another starchy base
9 oz vegan chicken
1/4 cup flour with maybe 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper mixed in
3 shallots (or 1/2 onion) – minced
3 carrots – sliced
10-20 pearl onions – fresh or frozen
4 oz mushrooms – quartered
2 celery stalks – sliced
Several sprigs fresh tarragon
1/2 cup dry white wine
2-3 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup almond (or other) milk
2 tsp cornstarch
If using fresh pearl onion – drop them into boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain & cool & then cot the hard end off & squeeze the onions out the end. Set aside.
Mix the flour with S&P & coat the vegan chicken. I did this right in the bag the chicken came in.
Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat & saute the chicken until it browns. Set aside.
If you need more olive oil – add a bit – and saute the shallots until soft. Add the wine & scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. After a minute – add vegetable stock, carrots, mushrooms, celery, pearl onions, Dijon mustard & maybe 2-3 large sprigs of fresh tarragon. Simmer for about 20 minutes & let flavors meld.
Whisk the cornstarch into the almond milk & add it to the pan. Simmer until it thickens – maybe 5 minutes. If it gets too thick, just add water or more veggie stock. Add the chicken & heat through. Carefully remove the tarragon sprigs & serve with additional chopped fresh tarragon. Reflect upon how cool it is that you just made something Mary Todd Lincoln likely made loads of times!
The top video there is trailer for my novel. The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.