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This Chicken Fricassee recipe is just right for those gloomy days. It’s a tasty dish in Portuguese cuisine that uses simple ingredients to create a sophisticated meal.
Close up of a Chicken Fricassee on a white plate.

This Chicken Fricassee recipe is just right for those gloomy days when all you want is to crawl into bed and stay there forever. This dish is a staple in Portuguese cuisine and uses simple ingredients that you probably already have in your freezer or pantry.

Chicken Fricassee on a white plate.

A Fricassee is a dish consisting of some sort of protein (chicken, pork, or duck) or vegetables stewed in a white sauce. The white sauce is normally composed of egg yolks and lemon juice.

What is fricassee sauce made of?

A Fricassee recipe consists of just a few ingredients, the main ones being egg yolk, fresh lemon juice, and cinnamon.

The goal is to create a smooth and delicious sauce to stew the chicken in it for maximum flavor.

Fricassee Recipe: A Gem From The Portuguese Cuisines

The original recipe remotes to centuries ago, in the very north of Portugal, the breathtaking region of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. A very cold region, where warm and comfortable food was and still is mandatory to endure the most difficult seasons.

It used to be a dish mainly served in wealthy houses due to its sophistication but nowadays, fricassé (the way we write it) is spread all over the country and is one of the very best and favorite of most people.

How to Make Chicken Fricassee

The key to a good Fricassee is in the sauce. To create a good sauce we need high quality and fresh ingredients like fresh eggs and juicy and aromatic lemons.

Step 1: Roasting the Chicken

The first step in making this Chicken Fricassee recipe is to season and roast the chicken in the oven to give it a nice color and firm skin.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

For the sauce, you start by browning the onions, adding water, and letting it come to a boil. You then add the chicken and its liquid to start infusing the sauce with flavor. The second part is to add the egg yolk and lemon juice to create that creamy white sauce and let that cook and thickens. You can decide here to blend the sauce for a nice and smooth consistency but this is optional.

Step 3: Serving

The best way to serve this dish is on a nice shallow plate, garnished with parsley, with the rice in a separate bowl. Boiled potatoes go well too, or simply plain fricassee.

Substituting the Chicken with Other Meat

This dish was traditionally made with duck which is why it was considered a sophisticated dish served mainly to wealthy families. However, to make it more accessible people started substituting it with pork or chicken. So, if you don’t want to make it with chicken, pork or duck are a feasible option. Roast the pork or duck pieces just like you would with the chicken before stewing. Just be aware that you may need to change the roasting time for other types of protein.

Close up of a Chicken Fricassee on a white plate.

Chicken Fricassee Recipe with Cinnamon

Marli Oliveira Henriques
This Chicken Fricassee recipe is just right for those gloomy days. It’s a tasty dish in Portuguese cuisine that uses simple ingredients to create a sophisticated meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 4 people


Baking tray (33×23 cm/13”x9”)
Parchment Paper
Immersion blender (optional)


  • 1 Chicken
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 100 ml water
  • White pepper (to taste)
  • Paprika ((optional))
  • Parsley ((optional))


  • Pre-heat the oven 180ºC/356ºF.
  • Cut the chicken into big chunks and season with salt and the juice of 1 lemon. Take the baking tray and line it with parchment paper. Place the chicken pieces on the tray, rub it with butter, and roast for about 30 minutes.
  • In a pan, add the onions and cook until lightly browned. Then add the water and bring to a boil until the mixture starts to thickens. When the chicken pieces are done, place them in the pan and ladle over the remaining liquid from the baking tray. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes on low heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a plate.
  • To do the fricassee, pour the egg yolks into the pan, carefully fold to dissolve. Add the juice of 1 lemon to the sauce and keep stirring. Add the cinnamon, a fair sprinkle of paprika powder (the latter is optional), and stir to combine. Season with white pepper and blend the sauce, if desired (see note 1).
  • Add the chicken again to the stew and let it cook the egg yolks on very low heat for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle some parsley over the fricassé and serve it with buttery rice.


  1. If you want a better-looking dish blend the sauce to a smooth consistency.
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