Saturday, September 19, 2009

Frickin' Chicken or Chicken Fricassee with Mini Meatballs!

I make this one every year for the Jewish holidays! It's one of those comfort dishes, doesn't look pretty but it tastes out of this world. A nice huge slice of Challah to soak up the sauce. It was on my grandma's table for every holiday. Chicken Fricassee, Potted Chicken and Meatballs, or as my friend Woodie called it when I once posted the recipe on a forum, Frickin Chicken! Whatever you call it, it has to be on our table every holiday. I couldn't find my grandmother's recipe, probably because she never wrote that one down, so when she passed away, I sat in my friend's mother's kitchen one afternoon, she also never wrote it down, and I watched her. and I wrote, and I watched and I wrote, and I pretty much got it. My grandma used bay leaves and a load of garlic and spice, Syd did not. I have a neighbor who makes teeny, tiny matzoh balls in hers, makes it a little like dumplings, I guess! This is the kind of recipe you make your own! I got this recipe from my friend Cindy's mother, trying to duplicate my grandmother's. Only now I made it mine.

Chicken Fricassee with Meatballs
Source: originally from Syd, Cindy's mother
Printable Recipe

This another recipe using approximates. I usually use a large package of wings, with about 20 wings in a pack. Use more or less of whatever you want, it's to taste.

giblets (liver, gizzards, neck) You can omit if you want but it adds great flavor!
chicken wings (cut at joints, chuck out the tip part or save it to make in a soup) or drumettes
2 pounds chopped meat
2 onions, chopped
2 eggs
salt (optional)
1/3 cup matzoh meal (you can use bread crumbs if you want to)
garlic powder

Brown the giblets and wings with onions in a big pot with a little bit of oil, add some salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped meat, eggs, matzoh meal, some ketchup, a little water, a little garlic powder and pepper. Make little teeny, tiny meatballs. Add them to the pot on top of the browned wings, one layer at a time, so they don't get squished. Add some ketchup, some paprika and garlic powder to sauce. Simmer for a few hours. Check the sauce to see if it needs more ketchup, garlic, pepper or salt.

My notes: It’s all approximate. I use a regular package of chopped meat, probably about a 1/3 to a 1/2 bottle of ketchup. We like Heinz. The regular size bottle, not the humongous size. Probably a couple teaspoons of garlic powder, about a teaspoon or two of paprika, I throw some salt in, but not too much, plenty of pepper. Use as many or as little wings as you want. You can use chicken parts, too, just cut in small pieces. My grandmother used to add bay leaves. If you want, throw in about two bay leaves.

This one I just knew how to make from watching my grandma in the kitchen. Even my mother the non-cook can make chicken soup. and with the boiled chicken you can add some shredded pieces of the chicken to the soup, along with some egg noodles, or you can get a nice, crusty roll, brown up some onions, slop on some ketchup on the roll and make a boiled chicken sandwich. and there's always chicken salad!

Chicken Soup
Printable Recipe

2 kosher chicken pullets
water to cover
8-10 carrots -- sliced thin
2 leeks -- white part only
1 large onion
2 turnip
2 parsnip
kosher salt and pepper -- to taste
3 celery ribs
2 shallots
bunch of fresh Italian parsley
bunch of fresh dill

Peel and wash the vegetables. Rinse and clean the chickens. Put the chickens in a stock pot with the vegetables, and add enough cold water to cover it all. Bring to a boil. Skim the foam off the top. Lower the heat to medium. Keep it on medium for about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer soup for three hours or more on low heat. The longer it simmers, the better the flavor. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the soup. Keep the carrots and chicken meat. Discard the other vegetables. Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer. Put the carrots and chicken in a separate container. Skim the fat when it cools. When it's cooled in the frig and it resembles loose jello, then you did great! Doesn't always end up jiggly though. Chicken soup freezes well!

To serve, heat the soup with the carrots and add egg noodles or matzo balls.

The easiest way I have found to make matzoh balls is to have someone else do it! I have a friend, she makes a double recipe for me, and I freeze them for when I need them. Hers are sinkers though. Like lead. but so good. Floaters are good, too. Mine come out a little like both, pieces that float and pieces that sink, never a solid round ball. It's always good to have a nice friend who will make them! Also find a friend who makes great chopped liver as well :) I did! and that's what holiday dinners are all about at our house...
Food, family and friends! Happy and a healthy New Year.


  1. Now those are dishes that will stick to yur ribs!!
    I wish my Grandma would have written many of recipes down also..but she "winged" it most of the time!!

  2. Woodie is a hoot! Happy Holidays to you Carol.

  3. It all looks great Carol. I'd love to come eat at your house. I love homey chicken dishes..meatballs would only make it better I'm sure! Its an odd combination though. I wonder how it got started? I've never had matzo balls..still need to try them. Happy Holidays!

  4. Carol, what a fun AND memory-filled post. Carrying on food traditions must go on in every family. And I think most of our grandmothers just "winged" it.

    My grandmother made thin, crispy, un-iced sugar cookies that were unique and VERY tasty. I've never been able to figure out how she did it.

    Love the name frickin' chicken.

  5. The chicken and meatballs sound wonderful - a combination I (like Suzy) wonder how it came about. I'll definitely try this one sometime, all the ingredients sound great and I like the idea of a one pot meal.

    Happy belated holiday...I know it was different this year without your dad but I hope it was filled with love and memories.

  6. Tasty looking dishes for the holidays. Thanks for including the recipes ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  7. Hi Carol, I've been doing some catch-up on your blog... you continue to crack me up!!! Every post! I'll just lump my comments here to say you thoroughly entertain me!

  8. Happy Holidays!
    Your dishes look delicious. It is so great thet you try to cook your grandma's recipes :)


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