This creamy chicken casserole recipe delivers full flavours! Chicken legs and thighs browned, then slowly braised in white wine sauce with herbs and carrots, then finished with a touch of cream for a rich and satisfying casserole.
If you like this casserole recipe, try our French Chicken Casserole a la Normande!
No matter the weather, there is always room for a creamy chicken dish, isn’t there?!
Why make this creamy chicken casserole
- Easy to prepare since most cooking happens in the oven.
- Wholesome, simple, good quality ingredients make this chicken recipe a winner.
- Delicious taste and beautiful aroma that will rival a restaurant meal for a fraction of the price.
- Suitable for a casual or a formal dinner.
- Easily customisable recipe. You can add any vegetables and herbs you love to make this dish your own.
What is chicken casserole?
The answer varies by the country but what everyone agrees on is that casserole is a comfort food dish cooked in the oven. It doesn’t just nourish the body. It brings comfort to the soul.
A traditional casserole usually consists of a protein like chicken, beef or fish and vegetables cooked in a savoury sauce. It could be served with rice or potatoes and bread.
This creamy chicken casserole is all of the above and more!
How do you make it?
If you made your casserole with chicken thighs and legs, you will end up with a richer flavour of the meat itself and the sauce. It’s important to brown seasoned chicken pieces first as it will improve the taste and the texture of the meat, especially when using skin-on chicken thighs and legs.
Adding onions or shallots, garlic and herbs also play an important part in making a delicious casserole dish. Hardier herbs like thyme and rosemary give richer flavour than parsley or dill. You can use dried herbs but fresh are always better.
Add vegetables you love for a more interesting, complex flavour. Root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, squash or yams are wonderful in casseroles as they need longer time in the oven same as chicken thighs and legs.
Mushrooms, green peas, red peppers and other delicate vegetables could also be added for extra flavour, texture and a pop of colour.
Finally a well prepared savoury sauce will make all the difference for a chicken casserole. Here is what you need to know about making one.
What goes into creamy sauce for chicken?
The main ingredients that contribute to that finger licking cream sauce are:
- Onion and garlic
- Thyme or your favourite herb
- Dry white wine
- Flour for thickening the sauce
- Double or heavy cream. (Could be substituted for a single/light cream)
To avoid the cream sauce from curdling, add it at the end of cooking time since intense heat of the oven can cause the cream sauce to curdle.
Will the taste change if I omit the wine?
Yes, it will. The wine is an important player in the way flavours interact with each other in order to create a complex and varied taste. The richness of cream needs the acidity of wine for counterbalance.
If you don’t drink alcohol, I would recommend substituting white wine with 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of not very sweet apple juice.
Side dish suggestions
More creamy chicken recipes:
- Creamy Chicken Stroganoff
- Chicken in Wine and Mustard Sauce
- Chicken Paprikash
- Coq au Vin Blanc
- Butter Chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 chicken legs and thighs combined
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
- 2 tbsp flour
- 125ml/ ½cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 375ml/1 ½cups chicken stock
- 125ml/1/2cup double/heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and brown seasoned with salt and pepper chicken legs and thighs for approximately 4 minutes per side over medium heat until golden on each side but not cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate and set aside till needed.
- Discard all fat but 1 tablespoon from the pan and add 1 tbsp of butter. Saute chopped onion and carrots over low heat for 8-10 minutes. Do not allow onions to brown. Add minced garlic and thyme leaves, cook briefly for half a minute. Add the flour and stir to combine until the flour has turned into a paste and is slightly browned. Add the wine while stirring, let the wine simmer for 2-3 minutes until reduced by a half, then add the chicken stock, turn the heat up and bring to a boil, then take it off the heat.
- Return the chicken to the pan and bake in the oven uncovered for 45 minutes. Then take out of the oven and add the double/heavy cream and gently stir to incorporate the cream into the sauce. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.