French Language Blog

Slow Cooker French Recipe: Fricassée de Poulet à l’Ancienne Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Culture

Last year, I moved from the east coast to the west coast of the US, and one of the biggest shocks I had when I arrived was the weather. Why is it 80° in February? Don’t get me wrong – j’adore ce temps (I love this weather), but growing up on the other side of the country has me accustomed to snowmen this time of year, not the beach. The other day I was on the phone with a friend from home, and she was telling me she was bundling up to take her dogs out. While she was doing this, I was enjoying a Thai iced tea outside in shorts.

Une chose qui me manque (one thing I miss) about cold weather is the soul-warming soups all season long. J’aime bien cuisiner, mais ce n’est pas toujours facile de trouver du temps pour un repas correcte (I love cooking, but it’s not always easy to find the time to make a good meal). One of my favorite tools in the kitchen? Une mijoteuse (slow cooker/ Crock Pot) – un appareil (an appliance) that isn’t very common in France. Many difficult and time-consuming recipes have been adapted to be thrown into slow cooker and left to simmer for hours so you don’t have to spend all your time in front of the stove.

Some traditionalists may oppose this method, but I for one welcome it when I want something delicious and don’t have time to cook it. Much like un cassoulet, la fricassée de poulet à l’ancienne has so many variations – almost everyone’s is different. Despite that, this mix between a sauté and a stew is made with a few staple ingredients: chicken, mushrooms, and hearty vegetables. It’s an old dish – there’s even a recipe published in Le Viandier circa 1300. When prepared with the traditional method, you only need one pot. Makes la vaisselle (the dishes) easy!

Some recipes say the dish only takes about 2 hours to cook, but if you don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen, I’m publishing a variation of a slow cooker recipe I’ve made before.

3 lb. bone-in skinless chicken thighs
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. grated lemon peel
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¾ c. chicken broth
1½ lb. red potatoes
8 oz. white mushrooms
1 large shallot
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
½ head of broccoli
½ c. whole milk
1 tbsp. butter
1½ c. frozen peas
⅓ c. sour cream
fresh chopped parsley


  1. Place chicken thighs in a sealable plastic bag and cover with the grated lemon peel, thyme, ½ of teaspoon of salt, and ½ a teaspoon of pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a large slow cooker, add the chicken broth, chopped potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, shallots, and the garlic. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  3. Cover and cook for 5 hours on the low setting. Remove the chicken and skim the fat from the liquid. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt in the liquid and stir lightly.
  4. In the slow cooker, add the frozen peas. Check after 20 minutes to see if the peas are cooked through.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add the milk, melted butter, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and mash the potatoes.
  6. Serve chicken mixture over potatoes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


Bon appétit ! Hopefully this warms you up on one of those cold winter days!

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About the Author: Josh Dougherty

Just your typical francophile. If you have any topics you'd like me to discuss, feel free to let me know!


  1. Peter Smee:

    The French do have the cocotte-mine does a whole (small) chicken a la Elizabeth David in a couple of hours