Collard Greens and Chicken Fricassee

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  6 servings
Prep Time:  25 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 25 minutes

Collard Greens and Chicken Fricassee

A fricassee is a traditional French stew that is usually made with chicken. This version includes savory meatballs and shredded collard greens for a little Southern twist, and it is made without any wheat flour for coating the meat. Serve this dish with plain white rice.

Ingredients

Meatballs:

½ pound ground beef (80/20)

¼ pound ground chicken

¼ pound ground veal

4 garlic cloves, grated or minced

1 tablespoons potato starch, rice flour, or cornstarch

1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley

2 teaspoons tomato paste, double concentrated

1 teaspoon mild paprika

1 teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cracklings and Fricassee:

6 whole chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated, about 3 pounds, skin removed and reserved for cracklings (optional)

⅓ cup rice flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

¼ cup olive oil or chicken fat

2 celery stalks, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

2 cups finely shredded collard greens (about 5 leaves), stems removed

1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 cup button mushrooms (if large, cut into halves or quarters)

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, add the beef, chicken, veal, garlic, and starch; mix well. Add the parsley, tomato paste, paprika, celery salt, and pepper. Mix to combine without overworking the meat. Form into 12 meatballs, approximately two inches in diameter. (Meatballs may be prepared to this point up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use.)
  2. Make the cracklings: Lay the reserved chicken skin flat on a metal cooling rack set on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F until brown and crisp, about ½ hour; cool.
  3. Make the fricassee: Combine the rice flour, salt, paprika, and white pepper in a large baking dish. Roll chicken pieces in the flour to coat well.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil or schmaltz over high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in batches, without overcrowding the pan. Cook until golden brown on all sides, turning as needed. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken. Add the celery, carrots, and onions; reduce heat to low. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent but not brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the collard greens, stock, and mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Scatter the meatballs and chicken over the vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is falling from the bone and the collards are tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Serve the fricassee and gravy over rice. Garnish with crumbled cracklings, if using.

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