Rating: 5 stars
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Chicken a la crema is one of my favorite recipes and one of the greatest chicken recipes of all time. It's simple to make, incredibly comforting, and gorgeous to look at. Sauteed mushrooms and onions are well browed to add extra flavor and give the sauce a beautifully rich color. Spoon this into a bowl alongside rice and top with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of cilantro, or wrap it up in a fresh, warm tortilla and dunk it in the sauce--no matter how you serve it, this dish should be on every chicken lover's bucket list.

Recipe Summary

2 hrs 15 mins
2 hrs 40 mins
25 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Brown chicken in olive oil in a Dutch oven over high heat until nice and dark on both sides and fat has rendered, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a bowl.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add onion, mushrooms, and salt to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, dried oregano, garlic, and poblano peppers. Cook and stir until peppers begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

  • Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and bay leaf; stir and increase heat to high. Stir in 1 cup creme fraiche and fresh oregano and bring to a simmer. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot, nestling them into the broth so they are covered. Reduce heat to low or medium-low to maintain a gentle, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

  • Use tongs to carefully transfer chicken to a bowl and let cool enough to handle. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook until braising liquids have reduced by about half, 15 to 20 minutes, skimming off fat from the surface as it cooks.

  • Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and bones from chicken (or save to make stock). Break up the meat into large or small pieces and save any edible drippings.

  • Reduce heat to low and add chicken meat and drippings to the sauce. Simmer until chicken has absorbed the flavor from the sauce, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in chopped cilantro and remaining creme fraiche. Taste to adjust salt and seasonings.

Chef's Notes:

Poblano peppers are like regular green peppers, except thinner, more flavorful, and with a little bit of heat. If you can find them, use them, but if not, any pepper will do.

Diced fresh tomato can be used in place of canned, and you can substitute 2 teaspoons table salt for 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Feel free to use any herbs you like.

Sour cream can be used in place of creme fraiche, but it's more acidic, will make the sauce tangier, and may curdle.

You can serve the chicken on the bone if you'd like.

Nutrition Facts

734 calories; protein 51.5g; carbohydrates 12.2g; fat 53.7g; cholesterol 231mg; sodium 2026.6mg. Full Nutrition