Buttermilk Buckwheat Herb Crepes with Chicken and Mushroom Filling

Because it’s slightly bitter and has a much more intense flavor than regular flour, buckwheat is an excellent ingredient for crêpes. I appreciate it for its nutty flavor, and combined with some fresh chopped herbs in this  crêpe, it makes for a delicious wrap.

Buckwheat has long been a staple in French cooking, and has become much more popular in the US with the trend in gluten-free cooking. It’s high in manganese, copper and magnesium, and also a good source of fiber.

Buckwheat is not actually a grain as it doesn’t come from the grass family, but is more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb. It can be used to make the porridge or breakfast cereal, as well as substituted for wheat flour in many recipes. Buckwheat flour is easily found at your supermarket.

Combined with sautéed chicken and mushrooms (see the sautéed mushroom recipe here), this makes for an awesome lunch or evening dish.  And crêpes are so versatile, they can easily be frozen and used later for other simple fillings.

To freeze, just use a small square of parchment or wax paper in between each crêpe, and thaw out before separating.

As with most crêpe recipes,  it’s important to let the batter stand at least thirty minutes, and ideally overnight, before using. You will notice that this batter is extremely thin immediately after making it, but as it sits for a while it will become almost syrupy and stretchy. So you’ll see there’s some additional water in the recipe that can be used to thin it out. Additionally, using buckwheat flour alone makes for a crepe so delicate you almost can’t flip it without breaking. So it’s necessary to develop a little bit of gluten with a small amount of white flour.

Please don’t blend your herbs with your crêpe batter unless you want green crêpes. Also, I can’t stress enough the importance of using freshly chopped herbs. It can be tedious and time-consuming, but it makes all the difference between decent and okay food and  exquisite food. In a pinch don’t hesitate to use dried herbs, but be sure to use about 1/3 the amount in the recipe since all the water has been removed from them and they can be more potent.

Don’t think you can’t cook crêpes. You might have to toss a few out at first, but with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Make sure your pan is medium hot, and add in just enough batter that you can swirl it around and it reaches the edges. If your crêpes are too thick, you may be adding too much batter. A crêpe pan is handy because its low edges make turning them easier, but not absolutely necessary-you just need a good non-stick pan.

Be sure to brown the chicken well, as this is key to flavor development. When done cooking the chicken, use some white wine to get all the browned bits off the pan. And when you add back in the mushrooms and chicken to the sauce, add in a little extra garlic using our garlic confit recipe. It’s worth it. If you have some extra tarragon and thyme sprigs left around, let those steep in the sauce with the chicken and mushrooms for a few minutes before serving.

Don’t be overwhelmed by this recipe. It’s easy enough to break it down and make the crêpes one day, the mushrooms on another, and then prepare the chicken and serve on another. You can always double up one the mushrooms or crêpe recipes and save for another day.

This is a great recipe for a dinner party or semi formal evening supper, sure to impress your guests. Once you put the chicken and mushrooms together, and wrap them in a piping hot crepe and serve, you’ll be amazed at how good it is. Whenever you cook, it’s the small details that elevate average food to great food.

Buckwheat Crepes
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Jeff Stern
Buckwheat buttermilk crepes with herbs are delicious with meat, poultry or other fillings. And they’re a healthy alternative to flour based foods.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
  • butter as needed
Instructions
  1. Combine buttermilk salt, olive oil and eggs in a blender, and blend well.
  2. Add buckwheat flour, and pulse until just combined. Add all-purpose flour and pulse until combined.
  3. allowed to set at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
  4. Add chopped herbs when you are ready to cook crêpes, and thin with water as needed.
  5. Using a 12″ crepe pan or non-stick skillet, heat to medium heat and add in a small slice of butter, swirl around pan.
  6. Add in just enough crepe batter to coat entire pan, swirling pan quickly to spread it all around to edges.
  7. When batter has bubbled and appears dry on top, using a wide spatula gently loosen crepe edge and slide spatula well underneath. Lift gently and flip carefuly.
  8. Let cook 20-30 seconds and remove to a plate, repeat until all batter is used up.
Notes
If crepes are too thick, be sure your batter is thin enough and you are not adding too much too pan.

 

 

Chicken and Mushroom Filling For Crepes
Recipe Type: Intermediate
Cuisine: French
Author: Jeff Stern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
A classic blend of french ingredients and techniques.
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • One recipe [url href=”http://www.thestraightdish.com/garlicky-sauteed-mushroom-poboy-with-herb-butter-and-parmesan/” target=”_blank”]sauteed mushrooms[/url]
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cream
Instructions
  1. Trim fat from chicken breasts, and cut into half-inch chunks. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Generously oil your sauté pan, and cook chicken in small batches, being sure to brown it well. The chicken does not have to be fully cooked at this stage, just well browned. Add either fresh chopped garlic or [url href=”http://www.thestraightdish.com/do-this-for-amazing-garlic/” target=”_blank”]garlic confit[/url] during the last minute of cooking and turned down heat. Set aside.
  3. Turn heat backup to medium and add white wine to hot pan to deglaze and remove browned bits. Cook down the liquid to just a tablespoon or two, and add to chicken.
  4. Wipe pan clean, turn heat to medium, and add butter. When butter has melted, sprinkle over flour and cook until just blonde in color. Add in cold stock incrementally, stirring constantly to make sure you don’t get any lumps in the flour, until you have a loose broth.
  5. Add chicken and prepared mushrooms to sauce, and cook on a low simmer 20-30 minutes. Add additional stock if needed.
  6. Add in dijon mustard and cream.[br]
  7. To serve, warm crepes gently in microwave, spoon filling in a line in middle of unrolled crepe and some sauce, fold tops over each other. Serve 1-2 crepes per person. Garnish with chopped chives.

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