Chicken Fricassee

Mike tried this recipe on June 9, 2024

When I look for recipes to try, sometimes I follow a theme or idea that comes to me during the week, like something related to the time of year or a certain memory. This recipe is a little different.

I was browsing YouTube exploring different types of foods when this one popped up in my list of “suggested videos”. The author of the video is Kent Rollins, who’s made his living simply doing what he loves best – cooking and serving up hearty foods the same way that cowboy cooks did in simpler times. If you ever get a chance, listen to one of his videos; in between showing you how to cook a delicious meal, he’ll also share some history or other pieces of wisdom that helps put the food he’s preparing into the proper perspective.

And so it is with this recipe. As Kent explains it, chicken fricassee was a favorite dish of President Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln was in the White House, the stresses of his position oftentimes distracted him from eating. The First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, grew concerned to the point that she asked the White House cooks to prepare this dish frequently to entice him to finally sit down and eat.

After having tried this recipe, I could understand why President Lincoln considered it one of his favorites. The combination of spices, including one I had never used before – Mace (no, it’s not the stuff you spray in someone’s eyes if they’re attacking you) – give this dish and especially the cream gravy a very rich flavor. If you’re looking for a different take on chicken, give this one a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Adapted from Kent Rollins

Chicken Fricassee

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 30 mins Rest Time 5 mins Total Time 45 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A very simple yet flavorful skillet dish that was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln.

Adapted from Kent Rollins



  1. In a small bowl combine salt, marjoram, pepper, ground mustard, ground mace, and ground nutmeg and mix well. Season chicken generously with the spice mixture on both sides.

  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, then add the heavy cream. Turn the chicken in the cream to coat both sides.

  3. Cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside, keeping it warm.

  4. Slowly whisk the flour into the skillet to thicken the remaining sauce into a gravy. Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 thighs plus gravy

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 794kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 60.5g94%
Saturated Fat 37.1g186%
Cholesterol 379mg127%
Sodium 1405mg59%
Potassium 33mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 7.1g3%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugars 0.2g
Protein 45.4g91%

Calcium 215 mg
Iron 3 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • Traditionally, this dish would be made using a whole chicken cut into quarters. Feel free to experiment with the cut of chicken that works best for you.
  • Mace (the spice) is made from the outer husk surrounding the nutmeg seed. Its flavor differs from nutmeg in that while nutmeg is considered warm, spicy, and sweet, mace has a more pepper-like bitterness. They are often referred to as "sister spices" for their contrasting flavors and common origin.
  • As written this recipe is very high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Substituting the heavy cream with half and half would reduce these as follows:
    • Total Calories - 557
    • Saturated Fat - 17.4g
    • Cholesterol - 280mg
Keywords: chicken, heavy cream, mace, nutmeg, marjoram, Abraham Lincoln, skillet
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