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Baked Crêpes Cacciatore with Parmesan Cream Sauce

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Serves 6 as a main course

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 116

In this comforting casserole, crêpes are filled with a fragrant chicken, tomato, and mushroom mixture, topped with a cheese sauce, and baked. For speed and ease, this recipe calls for leftover or store-bought rotisserie chicken.

For the filling:
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter; more softened for the baking dish
  • 8 oz. cremini or white button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium (8 oz.) red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small dice
  • 1 large mild fresh green chile (such as Anaheim) cored, seeded, and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 cups chopped leftover roast chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken
For the cheese sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz. (1-1/2 cups) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For assembly:
  • 12 8-inch crêpes, warmed if made ahead
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika (optional)
Make the filling:

In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil and the butter over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the mushrooms, season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release much of their liquid and begin to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and return the skillet to the heat.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, the bell pepper, chile, onion, rosemary, and 1 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes; don’t let them brown.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for a minute or so, stirring and scraping so the flour gets mixed with the fat and starts to toast a bit. Add the broth and let it come to a simmer, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, and hot sauce; bring to a simmer again and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to slightly thicken the sauce.

Add the chicken and mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes until everything is heated through. Remove from the heat and season to taste with more salt, pepper, hot sauce, or lemon juice. Cover the filling and keep warm.

Make the cheese sauce:

In a heavy-duty 1-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until the cream has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese, stirring until melted. Season generously with pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Assemble and bake the crêpes:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Working with a few crêpes at a time, lay them on a clean work surface. Spoon about 3 heaping Tbs. of the filling evenly onto the bottom third of each crêpe. Fold the bottom edge of each crêpe up and over the filling, fold the sides in toward the center, and finish rolling up from the bottom. Evenly arrange the crêpes seam side down in a single layer in the baking dish.

Spread the cheese sauce evenly over the crêpes and sprinkle with the paprika (if using). Bake until the sauce is golden and bubbling slightly, 12 to 16 minutes. Serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The filling may also be made up to 3 days ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat over medium-low heat before using it.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 710; Fat (g): fat g 51; Fat Calories (kcal): 450; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 25; Protein (g): protein g 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 18; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 35; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 900; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 250; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe was so good, I made it the 2nd time today. Takes a bit of time but well worth it. Wonderful!

Loved this dish! My husband raved about it too, and he was a crepe skeptic previously. I bought the recommended de Buyer blue steel crepe pan which turned out beautiful crepes. I scrambled some eggs with the leftover filling and some spinach which was also delic. I did add a freshly roasted red pepper to this dish, and a yellow pepper as well which was great. I also topped the dish with extra parmesan and broiled it at the end for extra color. Thanks fine cooking!

Absolutely delicious! The only chane I made was used jarred roasted red peppers for the red pepper because that's what I had. I would add a bit more rosemary next time and a bit more hot sauce. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

This delicious recipe comes together from several components that could easily be made in advance. I made the filling one night and we had some over rice for dinner-- that alone was really tasty. A few days later I made crepes, sauce, and assembled the whole thing. The filling alone was good, but with the tender crepes and rich cheesy sauce-- what a dish! My husband loved it too, although he had his with Thai chili garlic sauce for a Euro-Asian fusion. Summary: make the filling and the crepes ahead of time if you want, but make this dish!

I followed the recipe very close and it was VERY good. I would definately make it again.

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