This Chicken and Mushroom Crepe Recipe is a fantastic main dish to serve for lunch or a fancy brunch. The best part about it is most of it can be made the day ahead, leaving just the bechamel sauce, assembly, and baking to the day of your party.
This is probably not one of my most "traditional" French Recipes, but who can say no to a savory chicken crepe with bechamel sauce? This crepe recipe is really "Franglais Cooking" at best.
In Brittany, France where crepes originate from, you'll find sweet crepes made with white flour or savory crepes, or Galettes as they are called, made with buckwheat flour or "ble noir". But you don't really find a "mash-up" of savory crepes, in a white flour crepe, like this.
When I first served this dish to my French husband he was like "huh?"...but then, of course, he gobbled up every bite, because let's face it who can resist a creamy chicken and mushroom crepe recipe slathered in bechamel sauce and topped with bubbling gruyere cheese?!
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STEP #1: Roast the Chicken
For this recipe, I really like to use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. This will give you really moist, succulent chicken.
I like to roast the chicken on a rack for even cooking and if you line your pan with foil, you'll have easy cleanup!
Once the chicken is cooled you can shred the meat off the bone with two forks.
The chicken can be roasted and shredded the day before. Place the chicken in a bowl, covered, and refrigerate until ready to use. You can even roast double the chicken breast to have for other meals throughout the week, such as my BBQ Chicken Sliders or Enchiladas Suizas.
To make one or all crepes vegetarian, you can skip the chicken and add baby spinach instead. You don't even need to cook it since it will steam/wilt in the oven as the crepe bakes. Just add a handful on top of the mushroom mixture when assembling.
This is an easy substitute if you need just one crepe to be a vegetarian crepe.
Step #2: Make the Crepe Batter
The secret to making crepe batter is to make it as smooth as possible so that you don't create any lumps. You could use a blender, but who needs one more small appliance to drag out and clean? For this savory crepe recipe, I made a slight twist on my basic crepe recipe.
Instead, place your flour in a large bowl with the salt, whisk it together and then add the milk. This will assure a smooth, clump-free mixture from the start, a key attribute for any crepe recipe.
Then add beaten eggs to the flour mixture for continued "smoothness".
You'll also add melted butter and for a finishing touch, I like to throw in some freshly minced dill.
Step #3: Making the Crepes
I've been making crepes for over 10 years now, just about every Saturday morning for my kids, and I can tell you one thing with certainty! Skip those expensive crepe pans. I find them harder to use since they burn the crepe quickly, and who needs a pan you can only use for one thing?
Instead, invest in a 12" non-stick skillet you can use for crepe making as well as just about everything else!
Even though the pan is non-stick, you should also grease it well with some non-flavored oil. I like to use grapeseed oil or vegetable oil.
Then once it's really hot, add one full ladle's worth of batter into the crepe pan, swirling the pan around until gravity distributes it across the bottom of the pan.
Allow the crepe to cook on the burner until the edges become golden brown. Then loosen the edges with a thin spatula, grab hold of the edge with your fingertips and flip!
You can watch the video below in the recipe card to see the full flipping move "in action".
Then cook the crepe on the other side for about 30-40 seconds more. Then slide the crepe out of the pan, onto a sheet of foil, lined with a paper towel.
Just make sure all your crepes are stacked in the same direction or they will stick to each other.
Allow your crepes to cool completely, and then you can fold up the foil packet and place them in your refrigerator until ready to use.
Step #4: Make the Mushroom Filling
The filling is a combination of sautéed leeks and mushrooms.
I know there are serious "mushroom haters" out there! So if you find yourself in this camp, just swap the mushrooms for baby spinach.
You don't even need to cook the spinach since it will steam/wilt in the crepe once it's in the oven.
You can prep the filling a day before and keep covered in your refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Step #5: Making the Bechamel Sauce
The sauce is really best made the day you plan to assemble and serve the crepes. Otherwise, it gets too thick sitting overnight in the fridge and you'll have to reheat it and thin it with milk to re-use it, which then dilutes the flavor. Once you master bechamel sauce you can use it for all kinds of things like my Easy Cheese Souffle or my Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.
You can add a pinch of nutmeg to your sauce, but I prefer a minced garlic clove. I think it adds greater flavor to the sauce and mixes well with the chicken and mushrooms. If you have any bechamel sauce leftover you can use it for my Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur Sandwiches the next day since you don't need much!
Step #6: Assembling the Chicken and Mushroom Crepes!
I like to serve this crepe recipe in pretty white gratin dishes. Since the crepes are fragile and a bit messy when you cut into them, the individual gratin dishes provide your guests with their own little boat of messy goodness to enjoy.
Spread the crepe out across the gratin dish, then add the mushroom mixture and the roasted chicken.
Then drizzle the bechamel sauce inside the crepe. Then roll it up. I find the gratin dishes also help to keep the crepe and its filling intact when you roll it.
Drizzle a little more bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with some gruyere cheese and paprika on top. Placing the gratin dishes on a sheet pan helps to transport them easily in and out of the oven.
Step #6: Bake and Broil Your Crepes
Bake the crepes at 350F (175C) for 10-12 minutes to assure they'll be hot inside, then place them under the broiler to assure the cheese is really melted and bubbly.
Step #7: Garnish and Serve!
Top each chicken crepe with freshly minced parsley and serve with a side salad. Since the gratin dishes will be very hot I like to serve them on a wooden charger. The chargers also allow room for a 5-inch salad bowl as well.
If you wanted to serve this lunch with a starter beforehand, I think my Roasted Tomato and Eggplant soup would be a great idea! The bold flavors and lightness of that soup would be a good match against the richness of the crepes.
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For the crepes:
- 1 ¾ cup (210g) flour
- ½ tsp (5ml) salt
- 2 ½ cups (595ml) of milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp (60ml) melted butter
- 1 tbsp (15ml) fresh dill
For the filling
- 2 chicken breasts, skin on bone in
- 1 tbsp (15g) butter
- 4 leeks, white parts only sliced into ½ moons
- 2 ½ cups (300g) of mushrooms, sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp (15ml) parsley, minced
For the Béchamel Sauce:
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter
- 2 tbsp (15g) flour
- 2 ⅓ cup (555ml) milk
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup Gruyere Cheese
- Paprika to taste
- 3 tbsp (45ml) Freshly Minced Parsley
Side Salad with Vinaigrette:
- 1 bag salad greens
- 1 tsp (5ml) Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp (5ml) White Wine Vinegar
- 6 tbsp (90ml) grapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 minced shallot
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a rack and roast for 35-40 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool. Then shred of meat with forks and transfer to a bowl. Set aside until ready to use. This can be done the day before.
- Whisk together the crepe batter. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, whisk together and add the milk slowly, whisking until combined. Then add the beaten eggs, whisking until smooth.
- Then whisk in the melted butter and the dill.
- Heat a non-stick 12-inch (30cm) skillet on medium-high heat. Grease the pan with a paper towel soaked with either grape seed oil or canola or vegetable oil. Once hot pour 1 ladle full of batter into the pan and swirl the batter around until it covers the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until set and edges start to turn golden brown.
- Slide a thin spatula under the crepe enough to grab hold of it and flip it quickly with your hands. Cook on the other side for :30 seconds more.
- Slide the crepe off the pan onto a cutting board and repeat the process making the crepes, and sliding them onto the cutting board.
- Allow the crepes to cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a large skillet melt the butter, add the leeks and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Then add the mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste and freshly chopped parsley. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.
- For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a deep skillet once foamy add the flour, whisk together until a paste form. Slowly add the milk, whisking until combined. Simmer mixture until thickened. Then add 1 minced garlic clove and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the crepes:
- Place crepe over a small gratin dish, fill with 2 tbsp (30ml) of the mushroom mixture, top with ¼ cup (30g) of shredded chicken. Ladle 2 tbsp (30ml) of béchamel on top. Roll crepe and drizzle more béchamel on top, and sprinkle with gruyere cheese and paprika.
- Bake at 350F (175C) 10-12 mins. Then place under the broiler 1-2 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with a tossed salad.
- You can make the crepes ahead of time. Stack the crepes so that they are all going the same direction. Stack on Paper towel, lined with foil. Wrap tightly and place in the fridge.
- You can also make the mushroom and leek filling ahead of time. Allow to cool completely then cover and refrigerate.
- You can also roast your chicken, and shred it ahead of time too. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make the bechamel sauce the day you plan to serve the crepes otherwise it gets too thick sitting in the fridge and you'll have to reheat it and thin it with milk, which will water down the seasoning. So just best to make it when you need it.
- For a substitute to mushrooms you could add fresh baby spinach. In the assembly stage. Just place the cook leeks in the crepe, and hand a small hand full of baby spinach. It will steam/cook in the crepe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 437mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g