Chicken Parmentier

published Oct 21, 2023
French Chicken Casserole Recipe

Layer buttery mashed potatoes over French-inspired chicken pot pie filling for the ultimate comfort food.

Serves6 to 8

Prep30 minutes

Cook1 hour 10 minutes

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Close up view of the corner of the french chicken casserole with a scoop taken out of it.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes are quite possibly the two coziest dishes on the planet. The only thing better? Layering the two together for the ultimate comforting casserole. Meet: chicken Parmentier, a homey French chicken casserole that’s just like classic chicken pot pie, but with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes on top.

This recipe is a twist on hachis Parmentier, the French version of shepherd’s pie. In the classic, a base of minced beef (“hachis” means minced in French) is topped with mashed potatoes. (The word “parmentier” refers to the use of potatoes in French food.) The name is a nod to 18th century pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, who spent his life promoting the nutritional value of potatoes. At the time, it was (tragically) forbidden to grow them in France. Luckily for everyone, Parmentier convinced the Paris Faculty of Medicine to declare potatoes edible in 1772. 

In this slightly lighter version, chicken takes the place of minced beef. The addition of shallots, fennel, and tarragon set this apart from classic chicken pot pie filling, making everything taste just a little bit more French and a lot more delicious.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Rachel Perlmutter

Ingredients in French Chicken Casserole

  • Mashed Potatoes. Mix creamy boiled Yukon potatoes with egg yolks, heavy cream, butter, and a little nutmeg for the perfect casserole topping.
  • Chicken. Skip the hassle of cooking the chicken yourself and pick up a rotisserie chicken.
  • Aromatics. Build flavor in the filling with carrots, celery, shallots, and fennel.
  • Flour. Thicken the filling with a little flour or a gluten-free all purpose blend.
  • Peas. Add frozen peas to the filling just before assembly so they stay bright green.
  • Acid. A splash of white wine vinegar adds brightness and cuts through the rich filling.
  • Fresh herbs. Tarragon and chives add freshness.

If You’re Making French Chicken Casserole, a Few Tips

  • Add flair to the topping. Use a spatula to make dramatic swoops in the mashed potatoes. Or, pipe the potatoes using a pastry bag and star tip.
  • Make it ahead. The entire casserole can be assembled, covered, and chilled a day ahead for ease.

French Chicken Casserole Recipe

Layer buttery mashed potatoes over French-inspired chicken pot pie filling for the ultimate comfort food.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the potato topping and assembly:

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 1/2 pounds

    Yukon gold potatoes (about 9 medium)

  • 1/3 cup

    heavy cream

  • 2

    large egg yolks

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly grated or ground nutmeg

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided plus more as needed

For the filling:

  • 2

    medium shallots

  • 3

    medium carrots

  • 2

    medium stalks celery

  • 1/2

    large fennel bulb

  • 2

    cloves garlic

  • 4

    sprigs fresh tarragon

  • 4 cups

    diced boneless, skinless cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 pounds)

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1

    (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)

  • 1 cup

    frozen peas

  • 1 tablespoon

    white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon

    finely chopped fresh chives or tarragon leaves, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Make the potato topping:

  1. Cut 6 tablespoons of the unsalted butter into 6 pieces and place on the counter and let sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, peel and cut 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Place in a large saucepan or pot and add enough cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are knife tender, 15 to 25 minutes. (This is a good time to cut the vegetables for the filling.)

  2. Drain the potatoes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into the now-empty pot, or return the potatoes to the pot and mash with a potato masher until smooth.

  3. Place 1/3 cup heavy cream, 2 large egg yolks, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cream mixture and softened butter to the potatoes. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Cover to keep warm.

Make the filling:

  1. While the potatoes cook, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF. Peel and thinly slice 2 medium shallots (about 3/4 cup). Peel and dice 3 medium carrots (1 cup) and 2 medium celery stalks (2/3 cup). Remove the core from 1/2 large fennel bulb, then thinly slice (about 1 1/4 cups). Mince 2 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 4 fresh tarragon sprigs, then coarsely chop (about 2 tablespoons). Dice 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken (about 4 cups).

  2. Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the flour smells nutty and darkens slightly in color, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the carrots, celery, fennel, garlic, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pour in 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender and the sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Add the tarragon, chicken, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Assemble the casserole:

  1. Transfer the filling to a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish (such as a 9x13-inch) and spread into an even layer. Dollop the potatoes over the filling with a flexible spatula, then spread the potatoes evenly over the filling, going all the way to the edges of the baking dish. Dice the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and scatter over the potatoes.

  2. Bake until the potatoes are browned in spots and the filling is warmed through and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Garnish with 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or tarragon leaves if desired. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The casserole can be assembled a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Uncover before baking, and add 10 minutes to the baking time.

Storage: Leftover chicken casserole can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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