Chicken a la Crema

Indulge in Mexican Flavors: Chicken a la Crema Recipe

Transport your taste buds to Mexico with our tantalizing Chicken a la Crema recipe. This dish boasts tender chicken simmered in a creamy, flavorful sauce infused with aromatic spices and fresh herbs. With the perfect balance of heat from poblano peppers and richness from creme fraiche, each bite is a symphony of flavors. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or craving a taste of Mexican cuisine at home, this recipe is sure to impress. Get ready to elevate your dinner game with this irresistible Chicken a la Crema!



  • 1 (4.5 pound) whole chicken, whole


  • 1 Bay leaf, large
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups Mushrooms
  • 1 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 2 sprigs Oregano, fresh
  • 3 Poblano peppers
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Tomatoes
  • 1 Yellow onion

Canned Goods:

  • 4 cups Chicken broth

Baking & Spices:

  • 1 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt

Oils & Vinegars:

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds:

  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground


  • 1 1/2 cups Creme fraiche


  1. Prepare Chicken: Rinse the whole chicken under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
  2. Sear Chicken: Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on all sides until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.
  3. Sauté Aromatics: In the same pot, add diced onions, minced garlic, and sliced poblano peppers. Sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add Spices: Stir in chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and a bay leaf. Cook for another minute until the spices are fragrant.
  5. Simmer Chicken: Return the seared chicken to the pot. Add canned tomatoes (with juices) and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  6. Make Cream Sauce: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside to rest. Stir in creme fraiche and fresh oregano leaves into the sauce, then add sliced mushrooms. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  7. Serve: Carve the chicken into serving portions and ladle the creamy sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Slow Cooker Method: To make this dish in a slow cooker, follow steps 1 to 4 as written, then transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Vegetarian Version: For a vegetarian twist, omit the chicken and add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or corn to the sauce. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa for a satisfying meatless meal.
  • Dairy-Free Option: Substitute the creme fraiche with coconut cream or cashew cream for a dairy-free alternative. The sauce will still be creamy and flavorful without the dairy.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace Tomatoes: Use fresh diced tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes to reduce the carb content of the dish.
  • Lower-Carb Vegetables: Swap out the poblano peppers for bell peppers or jalapenos for a lower-carb option.
  • Thicken Sauce: To thicken the sauce without flour or cornstarch, simmer it uncovered for a longer period of time until it reaches your desired consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken? A: Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as boneless cuts will cook faster than a whole chicken.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Absolutely! This dish actually tastes better when made ahead of time, as the flavors have time to meld together. Simply reheat gently on the stove or in the oven before serving.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of Chicken a la Crema? A: Yes, this dish freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

In conclusion, Chicken a la Crema is a delightful dish that celebrates the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine. With its tender chicken, creamy sauce, and aromatic spices, this dish is a feast for the senses. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a flavorful meal, this recipe is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to enjoy a taste of Mexico with our delicious Chicken a la Crema!

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