FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 51
A Rosh Hashanah tradition that can’t be missed!
When Rosh Hashanah approaches,
there is one thing that my family looks
forward to and that’s my Nana’s chicken
fricassee. It’s a family tradition that dates
back decades. You can’t kick off the Jewish
new year in my house without this classic
Ashkenazi Jewish recipe.
I have no idea where this recipe comes
from, but I know that my family has been
making it for nearly 100 years. I was doing
some research and I found some very
interesting facts about chicken fricassee.
According to the Merriam-Webster
dictionary, fricassee is “a dish of pieces
of meat (such as chicken) or vegetables
stewed in stock and served in a white
sauce.” Well, my family’s recipe is defi nitely
not served in a white sauce — ours is
red, but more on that later.
Th e Legendary Chef Julia Child said
in her 1969 book “Mastering the Art of
French Cooking” that fricassee is “halfway
between a sauté and a stew.” I couldn’t
fi nd any references as to where or when
Jewish people started to make fricassee.
I did fi nd that fricassee fi rst arrived in
England in the mid-16th century. What’s
even more interesting about this is that
the word fricassee is a French word.
Th e most interesting fact that I discovered
was that President Abraham
Lincoln’s favorite food dish was chicken
fricassee — apparently he liked his chicken
to taste like nutmeg and mace. But you
won’t fi nd either one of these fl avors in my
Chicken fricassee is a very budget
friendly recipe, which is probably why
it became so popular with Jewish families.
My family was an immigrant family
who arrived to New York City without
much money, so I can see why Fricassee
would have been popular. It didn’t cost a
lot and you could make enough to feed
the entire family.
My Nana taught me how to make chicken
fricassee when I was a teenager. Nana
developed Parkison’s disease and there
came a time where she couldn’t physically
make these recipes anymore. I was
the only person in my family who volunteered
to learn how to make her recipes
and looking back, I am so glad I volunteered.
I have been making chicken fricassee
for nearly two decades now. Everyone tells
me my version of Nana’s fricassee is pretty
good. But in my mind, nothing will come
close to Nana’s.
Nana’s chicken fricassee has a red sauce
which comes from the paprika, water and
onions which makes up the bottom half of
the pot. Th e big secret is that Nana’s recipe
also has meatballs. You can usually fi nd
my family members hovering over the
stove, trying to fi sh out the meatballs from
the pot before I can serve it on the table.
Chicken fricassee is a delicious classic
Rosh Hashanah staple dish. If you are
looking to start the year 5780 off with
something new on your table, try Nana’s
chicken fricassee recipe. I guarantee it will
become a new tradition you will continue
Matthew Silverstein is the President of
the Bay Terrace Community Alliance and
is the creator of My Nana’s Gefi lte Fish
which is a Facebook blog he created in
honor of his Nana’s recipes.
Chicken Fricassee with
• 1 Bag of White or Yellow Onions
• Kosher Salt
• White Pepper
• Garlic Powder
• Onion Powder
• 1 Package of Chicken Gizzards (DON’T
FORGET TO INCLUDE THIS)
• 1-2 Packages of Chicken Wings
• 1 Large Package of Chopped Meat
• Bread Crumbs
• Chop up one bag of onions. Just a warning
that this step will make you cry!
• In a large stock pot, add the chopped
onions so that they cover the bottom of
the pot completely.
• Th en, add water to the pot so that its
half-way up the pot. Let the water come
to a boil.
• Once the water comes to a boil, add
enough paprika until the water turns a
red color. Add kosher salt, pepper, onion
powder and garlic powder to taste.
• Wash the package of chicken gizzards
and then add them to the boiling pot.
You must add the gizzards. You don’t
have to eat them, but defi nitely include
them while cooking.
• Cut the chicken wings in half. Cut off
the tips of the wings and discard. Th en
throw the cut up chicken wings into
• Let this all cook for about an hour to an
hour and a half.
• Season your chop meat (add at least two
eggs, bread crumbs and whatever other
seasoning you enjoy). Th en, make small
meatballs out of the seasoned meat mixture.
• Put the meatballs into the boiling stock
pot. Let this cook for another hour to an
hour and a half.
• You might need to add more seasoning
to the pot. Th e water should be a dark
jewish new year