My Nana’s kid brother Ernie and his better half Lynn (affectionately and respectively known to me as Uncle Ernie and Aunt Lynn) came to the deli last week to teach me Aunt Lynn’s generations old family recipe for Chicken Fricasee. I live for these moments.
After dictating my shopping list I noticed something was missing. “What about tomatoes?” I asked. “My Fricasee is brown not red,” she explained.
The wings, giblets, and ground veal from the list were easy. Sour salt was new to me. Luckily Nortown had it.
Friday morning they arrived at the appointed hour and we got down to work. Uncle Ernie with his newspaper and coffee and me and my instructor in the kitchen.
I was in heaven. Reviving and celebrating Jewish food and Jewish food culture is what I’m all about and this is the height of that tradition. “Where did you learn this recipe,” I asked. “From my mother,” she said, eyes twinkling.
We browned the onions in schmaltz, added wings and giblets. Chicken necks next and while all that was browning I was told to make mini meatballs from the ground veal.
When the moment was right we added chicken stock and then the meatballs. The next step was balancing flavours. “Ernie,” Lynn called out “come here and taste this.”. How many times had he said that? Seeing them together moving as one around the pot of fricasee helped me understand a little of what it takes to make a marriage last. Each has a role. Each has purpose. And as the Captain said…