Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand,
and for a talk beside the fire; it is the time for home.
When it comes to comfort food I always think of Chicken Fricassée. It reminds me of home, of hiking through a Colorado pine forest in winter. Quiet. The woodsy smell of thyme, the earthy aroma of mushrooms rise from the pot like mist from the forest floor. Growing up in Colorado, these winter moments are what I miss most when I'm away. The perfect stillness of a snowy morning. The way the pine trees smell like toasted marshmallows and the way the air glistens with millions of microscopic snowflakes hanging suspended as if time itself has paused to take in the wonder of it all. These simple experiences are what say "home" to me. Which brings me back to Chicken Fricassée. It was one of the very first dishes I learned to cook from memory - and thank goodness, because I relied on it time and time again during my homesick years living abroad without a cookbook on the shelf. It's a dish that encompasses every aspect of home - like the warmth that radiates from the kitchen stove on a quiet winter night. I love to make a big batch and share with family and friends!
This is a dish that, though it's one of my favourites, I often forget about it, in favour of trying something more modern and ultimately less satisfying. What is it about Chicken Fricassee that I like so much? I ask myself. Then I make it and remember. The slow-cooked chicken melts in your mouth. The mushrooms are meaty and full of flavour. The luscious sauce coats every morsel and is the perfect pool in which to dunk a big, crusty piece of bread. Yes, it's comfort food at its best!