CHICKEN AND WILD RICE CREPES WITH SWISS BÉCHAMEL AND CRISPY SAGE

Ingredients

The Crepes:

3 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

⅔ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons sugar

1 cup milk

1 cup cooked Minnesota wild rice

 

The Béchamel:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons brandy (or dry sherry)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup Jarlsberg or gruyere cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish

 

The Filling:

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 leek, white and light green parts chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 cups chicken breast, cooked and shredded into bite-size pieces

3 cups baby spinach leaves, packed

2 ½ cups cooked Minnesota wild rice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese (for topping the casserole)

 

The Crispy Sage:

6 tablespoons butter

½ cup whole sage leaves

 

Instructions

Place the butter in an 8-10” non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Let the butter melt (but not brown) while you make the batter.

Combine the eggs, flour, salt, sugar, and about ⅓ of the milk in a medium size bowl.  Whisk vigorously until the batter is smooth.  Add the remaining milk and whisk again until you have a smooth thin batter.  Adding the milk in two stages will assure a very smooth batter with no lumps.  Stir in the cooked wild rice.

The butter should be melted in the skillet by this time.  Gradually pour the melted butter into the batter whisking until it is well incorporated.  Leave any residual butter in the pan.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, tilt the pan off the heat slightly and pour the batter into the bottom side of the pan.  Quickly swirl the pan so that the batter completely coats the bottom of the pan in a thin even layer.  If you have holes, just pour a little batter in to fill them.

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the edges start to lightly brown and the crepe pulls away from the side of the pan.  Lift the edge with a spatula and flip the crepe to the other side (I like to use my hands, but you can also use the spatula to flip).  The crepe should have a light brown lacey look on the cooked side.  Cook the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes and remove to a plate.

Repeat with the remaining batter.  This recipe will make about 6-8, 8” crepes.

To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook until bubbly, about 1 minute.  Add the cream, brandy, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes.

Gradually add the parmesan, followed by the shredded Jarlsberg, whisking until the sauce is thick, smooth, and the cheese is all melted.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the filling, heat the canola oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add the leeks, garlic, and chopped sage to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 6-7 minutes until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to lightly brown.

Add the chicken, spinach, wild rice, salt, and pepper to the pan tossing to everything together until the spinach begins to wilt.  Add 2 cups of the béchamel sauce to the pan and continue to toss until everything is evenly coated and the spinach is fully wilted.  Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with non-stick spray.

Lay 6 crepes on the counter and divide the filling evenly between the crepes, laying a generous portion of the filling, about 1-1 ½ cups, down the center of each. Fold the sides over the filling and place each, seam-side down, in the prepared baking dish side by side.  Sprinkle the parmesan over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

To make the crispy sage, melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in another large skillet over medium high heat.  When the butter starts to bubble add the sage leaves in a single layer.  Cook until the butter turns brown and sage is just crispy.  Try not to eat it all before you serve the dish!!

Bring the remaining béchamel sauce back up to heat just before serving.

Serve crepes topped a generous ladle of sauce and the crispy sage.  Optional – garnish with more chives and edible flowers (if desired).

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