grandma tita's chicken fricasse


8 ounces fresh white or green asparagus, stalks trimmed and sliced into 1-inch lengths
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium broth
1 large white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4cup strained brine-packed capers
White rice, for serving




Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid and then strain the asparagus. Rinse under cold water and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Place the chicken breasts in a large pot with the chicken stock, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, then strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and set it aside until cooled. Remove the chicken from the bones, discarding the skin and pulling the meat off into big, long chunks.

Place the flour in a large bowl. Add a little of the cooking broth to the flour, whisking it until it forms a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining broth then pour the mixture into a medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick or burn, until it has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

Whisk in the reserved asparagus cooking liquid, the cream, and the capers. Add the chicken back to the sauce and stir to coat in sauce. Add the asparagus and gently tuck it in to the sauce (the asparagus is very delicate so handle it carefully). Cook a couple of minutes to heat through and bring the flavors together, and serve with rice.