Creamy French Poulet a la Creme Casserole Recipe

Poulet a la Creme is our favourite chicken recipe to cook at home inspired by a trip to France.

This classic take on Poulet a la Creme is one of my family’s favourite casserole recipes to make when company is coming for dinner. It can be prepared in advance and once broiled in the oven is ready to serve in just minutes!

Our quick and easy Poulet a la Creme recipe features tender chicken thighs swimming in a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce. Top with shredded gruyere and fresh tarragon then broil until you have a mouthwatering cheese gratin.

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What Is Poulet a la Creme?

The French dish Poulet a la Creme translates to “Chicken in Cream Sauce.”

Jacques Pépin, the famous French cookbook author and friend to Julia Child helped introduce Poulet a la Creme to American audiences.

You can make several versions of the classic French dish. Popular iterations of the recipe might include mushrooms or a Dijon mustard cream sauce. Fresh herbs like tarragon or thyme are typically used to flavour the dish.

Traditional Poulet a la Creme recipes are prepared in a large skillet. In our quick & easy version of the recipe we cook the ingredients on the stove then transfer them to a casserole dish, making it an easy make ahead meal.

Just before you’re ready to serve dinner simply pop the dish into the oven and watch the cheese melt, producing a delicious cheesy gratin!

Traditional Poulet a la Creme recipe ingredients.
Traditional Poulet a la Creme recipe ingredients.

Travel to France by Making Poulet a la Creme at Home

I love traveling to Europe!

During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, France, Malta and Italy.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.

What I love most about traveling to France is the opportunity to sample unique dishes in each region and city. The dishes in Paris and Versailles are unique to what you might find on restaurant menus in Chateauneuf de Pape, Provence, Epernay, Reims, Dijon and Annecy.

I first tasted a version of Poulet a la Creme on a road trip of Normandy. The region is located in northern France and is famous for its apples and pears (Calvados is made here) as well as dairy cows, which produce buttery cream and the world famous camembert cheese.

We dined out at many local restaurants that showcased a taste of regional and seasonal cuisine. One of my favourite meals was Poulet a la Creme, which had been prepared with local wine, fresh cream and button mushrooms.

Once back home from a French holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of France and can impress friends and family by making this delicious chicken recipe.

You May Also Enjoy These French Recipes…

Cook Poulet a la Creme in a large skillet.
Cook Poulet a la Creme in a large skillet.

Where To Eat Poulet a la Creme

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local French restaurant that serves their own tasty version of Poulet a la Creme.

Haven’t traveled to France before? It may be helpful to first sample the comforting dish at a local French restaurant to better understand how it is served. You can determine if you prefer to use chicken breasts or thighs, the ideal mushroom to chicken ratio and the amount of fresh herbs and shredded cheese to sprinkle on top of the casserole.

In Toronto you’re most likely to find Poulet a la Creme at French restaurants like Maison SelbyLa PaletteLa Societe French BistroLe Select BistroCafe Boulud at Four Seasons HotelAloetteAuberge du PommierCluny BistroCafe CancanCoffee Oysters ChampagneChabrol, and Union.

Our Poulet a la Creme recipe features a creamy sauce, chicken thighs and mushrooms.
Our Poulet a la Creme recipe features a creamy sauce, chicken thighs and mushrooms.

My Family Loves Homemade Poulet a la Creme

My family loves cooking authentic French food.

Some of our favourite family recipes are inspired by our road trip of France, such as my dads popular Beef Bourguignon, which we enjoyed eating in Dijon during a wine tour of Burgundy.

I made this Poulet a la Creme recipe at our cottage in Muskoka on a lovely summer evening. I prepared the casserole in advance shortly after lunch so I was free to swim in the lake and relax in the sun all afternoon. Around the dinner hour I turned on the stove and had a quick & easy casserole ready to serve in just minutes!

The major flavours in this creamy French dish include tender chicken thighs, umami-forward mushrooms, dry white wine, buttery whipping cream, fresh tarragon and oozing melted gruyere cheese gratin.

We like to serve it with steamed rice, roasted potatoes, crusty sourdough bread, and a fresh salad.

Bake Poulet a la Creme in a casserole dish topped with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Bake Poulet a la Creme in a casserole dish topped with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.

Health Benefits

Our homemade Poulet a la Creme Casserole is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.

Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.

The eugenol in tarragon can block calcium channels, which may help to lower blood pressure. The essential oils in the herb can help to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Basil also contains magnesium, which can help to improve blood flow by allowing muscles and blood vessels to relax.

Sprinkle with fresh tarragon to create a fragrant gratin.
Sprinkle with fresh tarragon to create a fragrant gratin.

Recipe Cooking Tips

This homemade Poulet a la Creme recipe is quick and easy to make at home.

  • We suggest cooking the chicken in a large skillet then transferring it into a casserole dish to broil the gratin.
  • We like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe as they are full of flavour and get very tender when braised in wine and cream. You can use sliced chicken breasts when making this recipe but do note the meat can get tough and dry out easily so keep an eye on them when they are simmering and adjust the time accordingly.
  • We’ve used simple button mushrooms in this recipe but you could substitute with chanterelles, cepes, or morelles if you’re feeling fancy.
  • If you want to be really authentic when making this recipe purchase a bottle of white wine produced in Normandy. Visit your local wine shop and look for Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau and Sauvignon Gris.
  • We’ve used 35% fat whipping cream in this recipe to make a truly delicious and decadent dish. You can make a lower fat version by substituting 18% table cream.
  • We’ve used gruyere for the cheese gratin but you can substitute with slices of French cheeses like brie, camembert or compte.
  • We used fresh tarragon in this recipe as it was in season in our backyard herb garden. You can also flavour the dish with fresh thyme or chives.
Poulet a la Creme Photo Image.
Poulet a la Creme Photo Image.

What To Serve with Poulet a la Creme

We like to serve this comforting chicken casserole with steamed rice, crispy roasted potatoes, crusty sourdough bread or a fresh salad.

We often serve the dish with a cold glass of Normandy white wine alongside a cheese board featuring French varieties like Raclette, Brie, Vache Maigre, Morbier, Saint Paulin, Beaufort, Boursin, and Mimolette

Here are some of our favourite fresh salad recipes to serve with Poulet a la Creme:

Serve Poulet a la Creme with steamed rice or sourdough bread.
Serve Poulet a la Creme with steamed rice or sourdough bread.

You May Also Enjoy These Chicken Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make the best Poulet a la Creme recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best Poulet a la Creme recipe!

How To Make Poulet a la Creme

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

French Poulet a la Creme

Learn how to make poulet a la creme! This baked French dish features chicken thighs, mushrooms, creamy sauce and tarragon cheese gratin.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Poulet a la creme
Servings: 6
Calories: 466kcal

Equipment

  • Large Skillet
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • French knife
  • tongs
  • cheese grater
  • Casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 12 Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 12 oz Mushrooms sliced
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Tarragon chopped
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere shredded

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large nonstick saucepan. Add the chicken thighs to the pan in one layer and brown over high heat for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Add the mushrooms and sprinkle over the flour. Turn the chicken pieces with tongs so the flour is dispersed evenly. Stir in the wine and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and add the salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
  • Add the cream, bring to a boil, boil uncovered for 1 minute.
  • Preheat broiler to 400 F.
  • Transfer Poulet a la creme to a large casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Transfer casserole dish into the oven under a hot broiler for 1-2 minutes until cheese has melted.
  • Serve garnished with chopped tarragon alongside rice, roasted potatoes or sourdough bread slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.2g | Protein: 43.6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 13.5g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 1379mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 1.4g | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 4mg

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