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Crepes with Chicken and Potato

Crepes with Chicken and Potato are classic French crepes with lemon poached chicken, tender potato, caramelized onion, and Gruyère cheese. Finished with a luscious lemon bechamel sauce and bright fresh tomato, this bistro-inspired crepe will become a favorite for lunch or a light dinner.

This is a gorgeous, savory recipe inspired by classic French crepes. Chicken and potato, with cheese and caramelized onion, in delicate crepes. The lemon bechamel, fresh tomato, and chives to finish are a foil (foodie term) to add dimension and complexity. Both the crepes and filling can be made a day in advance.

If you are detail-oriented, read on for all the deets on this delicious classic French crepes recipe. I give plenty of tips, especially for those without as much cooking experience. For you veteran cooks, you can hit the Jump To button above to skip to the recipe card.

crepes with chicken and potato on white plate, one cut open to show filling

Why you will love this recipe

Ever crave a crepe at a luncheon bistro? Maybe with a fancy coffee… or glass of wine? I do and on a regular basis too. And it is crazy coincidental that there are two such places right near me that are perfect little crepe spots.

Both restaurants make crepes with chicken and it is interesting to me how similar and different they are from each other. One uses chicken with potato gratin, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, (and I will totally do this is a future recipe myself), and lemony hollandaise. The other keeps it simple with chicken, potatoes, caramelized onion, and bechamel (with fresh tomato as garnish which I found to be a perfect complement).

fork holding a bite of crepes with chicken and potato

Both versions inspired my recipe. Chicken and potatoes. Cheese, because I find the cheese necessary. Lemon bechamel sauce, because it is DELICIOUS… and also quick and easy to make.

So, the first bit is that my crepes recipe uses no special equipment or pans. Just a 8-inch nonstick fry pan and a rubber spatula. That’s it, and I love that recipe so much

The second bit is the simplicity of these ingredients that combine so wonderfully together. Tender chicken is gently poached with lemon. Then we add simple potatoes, luxurious Gruyère cheese and caramelized onion, and finish with a creamy, dreamy lemon bechamel sauce that is SO good you could eat it with a spoon. (and I may have done just that)

crepes on a white dish

The ingredients

For the chicken and potato filling

  • Unsalted butter, white onions, and a bit of sugar. These are for the caramelized onions. Onions have sugar naturally, but adding a little bit of sugar helps the process of making caramelized onions.
  • Lemons and chicken tenderloins. Add lemons to water for poaching the chicken. One pound of chicken tenderloins is called for in the recipe card, but cut up chicken breast can be substituted.
  • A Russet potato. Yukon gold or red potatoes may be substituted. If skins are thin, then they do not need to be peeled.
  • Gruyère cheese. Look for Gruyère with the specialty cheeses. I never have a hard time finding it and buy it quite often, but if not available, then opt for Fontina or Gouda.
  • Salt and pepper. Kosher salt is the rule in cooking – always and forever!

For the lemon bechamel sauce

  • Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour. The basis for bechamel is butter and flour. These are cooked together, and they thicken the milk, making a creamy white sauce.
  • Milk. I use 2% milk. I do not recommend using skim milk.
  • Kosher salt. Bechamel is a simple white sauce and definitely needs a bit of salt.
  • Lemon. I used both lemon juice and the zest of half a lemon.

How to make crepes with chicken and potato

This being a classic French recipe, it should surprise no one that there is a bit of a process. That said, each step is EASY and approachable (my mantra), and as with any recipe, you can always email me or leave a comment below with questions.

collage of 2 photos showing uncooked and cooked caramelized onion in skillet
Caramelizing onions is a bit of a slow process, but so worth it!

Caramelize the onions

The first step is to caramelize the onions. To do this, onions have to be cooked slowly to allow their natural sugar to caramelize. Add sliced onion to a large frypan with butter and a bit of sugar, then cook low and slow, stirring regularly. This process takes 40-45 minutes.

collage of 2 photos showing crepe filling ingredients in bowl and then mixed together

Make the crepes and chicken-potato filling

While the onions are cooking, we can make the crepes, poach the chicken, and simmer the potatoes.

For the chicken, we add cut up lemons to a pot filled halfway with water. I also squeeze the lemons to get the juice into the water. Add the chicken and simmer 10 minutes or to an internal temperature of 160F. Remove the chicken to a plate and once cool enough to handle, dice into 1/2 inch pieces.

For the potatoes, we peel and nice a Russet. Put the pieces in a pot and cover with cold water, then we bring to a simmer and cook until they are fork tender.

To make the crepe filling, we mix together the chicken, potato, cheese, salt, and pepper, then fill our crepes and bake at 350F until heated through.

collage of 2 photos; left, chicken and potato filling on crepe; right, crepe rolled up around filling

Make the lemon bechamel sauce

This lemon bechamel is so easy to make and it happens in 5 minutes, so we can make it while the crepes are baking.

Make a roux with the butter and flour. This just means cooking the flour into butter to create a thickening agent. Add the milk and cook until thickened. Add the salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and you are done.

collage of 2 photos: left, crepes in pan before baking; right, wood spoon coated with lemon bechamel sauce
Make the lemon bechamel sauce while the crepes are baking. I love the specs of lemon zest in this sauce – it is so tasty.

Garnish and serve

Chicken, potato, and cheese are a bit monochromatic in more texture, flavor, and appearance, so the garnish here isn’t just garnish – it’s actually important as a perfect finishing touch.

You can assemble 2 crepes on a plate, drizzle lemon bechamel sauce over, then sprinkle with chives and tomato. Or you can drizzle sauce and sprinkle chives and tomato over the whole bake dish to serve buffet-style. Either way works.

zoomed out view of crepes on white plate

FAQs

What can be made in advance?

The crepes and caramelized onion can be made a day in advance without sacrificing flavor or texture. The chicken-potato filling can be made a day in advance, but you will sacrifice a bit on tenderness – not much, but it is preferable to make the filling fresh. The lemon bechamel sauce can be made a day in advance as well and gently reheated ( to ensure the sauce does not separate).

What is the best way to transport crepes with chicken and potato?

If taking to a potluck or some event, I recommend generously topping the prepared, baked crepes with the lemon bechamel, chives, and tomato, covering with foil, and serving buffet-style from the bake dish.

Can chicken breast or chicken thighs be substituted for the tenderloins?

Yes. Any chicken you fancy can be substituted, simply adjust poach time based on how large or small the pieces are.

If this is an “authentic French crepes recipe”, why didn’t you use buckwheat crepes?

Both restaurants I talked about above do use buckwheat crepes, which is the most traditional way to do it. I really tried to make buckwheat crepes and they were difficult. So to keep this recipe approachable for all, I stuck with my easy, dependable Savory Crepes recipe. My recipe is inspired, but also intended for American palates.

Do leftover reheat well?

They do! Just give a little minute in the microwave.

crepes in bake pan covered with lemon bechamel sauce, tomato, and chives
Leftovers reheat well, so don’t throw them out!

Last tips

Be sure to wait and add the lemon after the bechamel has thickened. Lemon juice is acidic and will curdle the milk if added too soon.

As the process goes for caramelizing the onions, I stir more infrequently at first to allow the onions to have good contact with the pan. I find as time goes by and the caramelization happens, I need to stir more often especially during the last 15 minutes.

When adding the lemons to the water to poach the chicken, don’t worry about the seeds. They won’t stay with the chicken when pulled out after cooking. I wasted a few minutes trying to fish seeds out until this dawned on me.

The crepes and filling can both be made a day in advance, however, it is best to make the filling fresh. The onions can definitely be made a day in advance. If making the whole filling a day in advance, add 5 minutes to the oven cook time and do anticipate the chicken to not be as tender. Still good, just a touch less tender.

2 prepared crepes on white dish
zoomed out view of crepes on white plate

Crepes with Chicken and Potato

Erica
Crepes with Chicken and Potato are classic French crepes with lemon-poached chicken, tender potato, caramelized onion, and Gruyère cheese. Finished with lemon bechamel sauce and fresh tomato, this bistro-inspired crepe will become a favorite for lunch or a light dinner.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine French-inspired
Servings 6 people
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chicken and potato filling

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 white onion quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins or chicken breast cut into strips
  • 3 lemons quartered
  • 1 Russet potato peeled and ½-inch dice
  • 6 oz Gruyère cheese shredded
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 pinch fresh cracked pepper

For the lemon bechamel sauce

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon

Garnish

  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • 1 large tomato diced

Instructions
 

Caramelize the onions

  • Melt the butter in a large frypan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sugar, and reduce heat if necessary to prevent the onions from browning. Cook, stirring regularly, 40-45 minutes until onions are soft, sweet, and caramel in color. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the chicken-potato filling

  • Fill a large pot ~⅓-½ full with water. Add the lemons, squeezing each piece to express the juice into the water. Bring to a simmer, add the chicken, and cook 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove chicken from the water, and set aside. once cool enough to handle, chop into ½-inch pieces.
  • Put the potatoes in a pot and just cover with cold water. Put pot on burner, bring to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are fork tender. (~8 minutes, starting with cold water). Drain and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the chicken, potato, caramelized onion, Gruyere cheese, salt, and pepper.

Assemble crepes and bake

  • Heat oven to 350°F
  • Lay out a crepe and top with 1/12th of the filling (*see Notes). Roll up crepe around the filling and lay in bake dish. Repeat with remaining crepes, using an additional bake dish if necessary (which will be likely).
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through, cheese is melty, and crepe edges are crispy. Remove from the oven.

Make the lemon bechamel sauce

  • While crepes are cooking, make the bechamel: heat butter in a medium saucepan. Add the flour, whisk until smooth, and cook at on medium heat for 1-2 minutes to cook the flour.
  • Whisking constantly, add the milk. With a whisk or wooden spoon stirring constantly, heat milk mixture until thickened enough to coat spoon.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest, remove from heat, and set aside.

Garnish and serve

  • Top crepes with lemon bechamel sauce, chives, and tomato and serve immediately.

Notes

For getting “1/12th filling”, just eyeball it. Roughly divide the filling into quarters, then take about a third of one of the quarters.
Cook time and calorie estimation does not include the crepes. Those details are available here.
Serving size is set at 2 crepes for a lunch or light dinner. Serving could be increased to 3 crepes for a more substantial dinner.

Nutrition

Serving: 2crepes | Calories: 340kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 22g (7%) | Protein: 33g (66%) | Fat: 15g (23%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg (26%) | Sodium: 228mg (10%) | Potassium: 722mg (21%) | Fiber: 7g (29%) | Sugar: 8g (9%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword classic French crepes recipe, crepes with chicken, lemon bechamel sauce
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let me know!


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