Chicken with Crème Fraîche Sauce
Published May 11, 2020•Updated Jul 30, 2023
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Tangy, rich sauce makes Chicken with Crème Fraîche Sauce an irresistible meal that feels worthy of guests. Luckily it all comes in a one pan, weeknight-friendly package!
Last week I told you about my latest favorite creamy sauce-making tool – crème fraîche. I loved this creamy, French, similar-to-sour-cream-but-more-rich, product so much in Creamy Shells with Peas and Bacon that I couldn’t resist using it to make another one pan weeknight meal. This time around, it’s seared skillet chicken in a tangy, Dijon mustard sauce. All in one pan, in barely any time at all.
This chicken dish is the kind of single item that is so versatile it can be transformed into an endless variety of meals. Just in the past couple weeks we served it over rice one night and noodles another. All it needs is roasted broccoli or asparagus and dinner is served. And it’s worth giving crème fraîche a shout-out as the weeknight shortcut star here. No extra steps needed to simmer or thicken the rich Dijon sauce – just whisk crème fraîche in and your creamy sauce is done.
Ingredients for Creamy Dijon Chicken
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – Slicing the chicken into thin pieces helps them to cook evenly and more quickly than leaving the chicken breasts whole.
- Unsalted Butter – This recipe was tested with unsalted butter, but if you use salted butter, just reduce the amount of salt used to season the chicken.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Stock – As with the butter, we tested this using low-sodium stock, but if you have regular (not low-sodium) stock, that’s just fine too. Just reduce the salt you use to season the chicken by half. You can always add more salt to the sauce after cooking. (Vegetable stock will also work fine here, and you can even use water in a pinch, but the sauce won’t have quite as much depth of flavor.)
- White Wine – This is a French-inspired sauce and the flavor of white wine adds a tangy acidity to the sauce that we really loved in testing. If you want to skip the wine, you can absolutely just use more chicken stock here.
- Stone Ground Mustard and Dijon Mustard – In testing, the sauce had the best flavor and texture when it was made with a combination of two types of mustard. Stone Ground Mustard has a coarse texture and Dijon mustard is smooth with a sharp, slightly spicy flavor. This is a mustard-lovers sauce for sure! If you want a more mild mustard flavor, reduce the amount of mustard by half when first making the dish. You can always stir in more mustard after tasting the sauce. If you only have one type of mustard, that’s totally fine! Start by making the sauce with just 1 Tbsp of that type of mustard and again, feel free to add more after tasting the sauce.
- Crème Fraîche – Crème fraîche is a creamy, sour dairy product that is similar to sour cream but has a much thicker texture and a richer flavor. Look for it in the dairy section, often near other soft, specialty cheeses (like ricotta, mascarpone, or perhaps near the goat cheese and fresh mozzarella). Many grocery stores carry it, and I’ve been picking up the Trader Joe’s version any time I make a TJ’s run.
- Lemon Juice – Don’t skip the fresh lemon juice here. It gives the dish a bright, fresh flavor.
- Chopped Parsley – Feel free to skip this in a pinch, but a bit of chopped fresh herbs add a lot of freshness to this creamy dish. If you don’t have parsley, almost any fresh herb would be great – try chopped green onions or fresh basil.
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Dried Thyme, Cooking Oil – Pantry and fridge basics you’ll need to finish the dish.
What to Serve with Creamy Dijon Chicken
This saucy dish is great served with something that can soak up the creamy sauce. Here are a few favorites.
- White or Brown Rice
- Roasted Potatoes
- Cauliflower Rice
- Pasta or Noodles
- Sliced Bread or Baguette
- Roasted Potatoes
More Chicken Recipes
- Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl – Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowls are fresh and flavorful grain bowls with quinoa, lemon-oregano marinated chicken and a fresh cucumber-tomato salad. Set everything out and let everyone assemble their own bowls at the table!
- Sheet Pan Honey Dijon Chicken – Love that Dijon mustard flavor? Sheet Pan Honey Dijon Chicken includes a sweet and savory sauce that does double duty as a glaze for chicken and a dipping sauce for Brussels sprouts and tender carrots. Everything cooks together on a sheet pan, making this a quick meal with very few dishes to clean up.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma – An easy marinade made with Moroccan spices and lemon juice gives this sheet pan chicken all the bold, fresh, fragrant flavors of the best chicken shawarma in only 30 minutes (plus time to marinate). Serve it family style with pita bread, hummus, fresh vegetables, and yogurt dipping sauce.
- Lemon Chicken Piccata – Lemon Chicken Piccata is a one-pan dish with a fresh twist. Charred sweet and sour lemon slices give seared chicken big lemon flavor and the light, creamy pan sauce is great over pasta.
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – A thick-bottom cast iron skillet is great for this meal, but any skillet will work.
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Chicken with Crème Fraîche Sauce
- 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into thin cutlets
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 2 Tbsp Butter (preferably unsalted, but if you use salted, reduce the salt amount above by half)
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/4 cup White Wine (use a dry white wine; sub chicken stock)
- 1/2 cup Chicken Stock, low-sodium
- 2 tsp Stone Ground Mustard (see note)
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 3/4 cup Creme Fraiche (see note)
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley (curly or flat-leaf)
- Slice chicken breasts into thin cutlets that are an even thickness. (I like to do this at a slight angle so that the cutlets are about 3 to 4 inches across but fairly thin.)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer chicken to the hot pan (if it won't all fit in a single layer, cook the chicken in batches, adding some more oil between batches).
- Cook chicken on both sides until deep golden brown and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes total. Set chicken aside. Return pan to heat.
- Add butter, garlic, and dried thyme to the heated pan and saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add wine to pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 1 minute.
- Add stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer until liquid reduces by about half, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Whisk in mustard, creme fraiche, lemon juice, and a pinch of additional salt. If you’d like a thicker sauce, continue cooking it down, stirring constantly, until it reaches your desired thickness (this should just take an additional minute or two).
- Return chicken to the skillet and spoon sauce over top.
- Remove pan from heat and sprinkle with parsley. Top with some fresh cracked black pepper.
- Serve over spaghetti, rice, or roasted potatoes.
Creme Fraiche – Creme Fraiche is a creamy, sour dairy product that is similar to sour cream but has a much thicker texture. Look for it in the dairy section, often near other soft, specialty cheeses (like ricotta, mascarpone, or perhaps near the goat cheese and fresh mozzarella). If you can’t find creme fraiche, you can make this recipe with sour cream, but do not cook the sour cream over direct heat (it may separate). After whisking in the wine, stock, mustard, and lemon juice and cooking the sauce down to your desired consistency, take the pan off the heat and whisk in sour cream. Then add chicken and parsley to finish.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.