CREAMY CHICKEN CREPES
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt as needed
1 cup flour
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. MAKE THE CREPE BATTER: Using a standing mixer, or by hand, whisk together all the ingredients. The crepe batter will improve if it sits for 2 hours in the refrigerator, covered with a plate or plastic wrap.
2. MAKE THE CHICKEN MIXTURE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and cook until all liquid is evaporated. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until foaming stops. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking continuously, until light brown, 2 minutes. Whisk in the stock and milk in a slow steam, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, mushrooms, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir in the sherry. Taste for salt and add up to a teaspoon, if necessary.
3. MAKE THE CREPES: In a 7-inch nonstick skillet, melt a tiny bit of butter over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (Your first crepe will never ever be perfectly cooked, but it's still perfect to eat, so keep a little sugar on hand to have a quick snack.) Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and start swirling immediately to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return to the heat to set the crepe, then flip to cook the other side, about 1 minute total. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have 8 crepes. If your crepe batter is not swirling easily, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until thin enough to coat the pan easily. (Crepes can be made a couple hours ahead of time and stacked on a plate. You can freeze any extra crepes for up to 1 month for another use.)
4. Get your 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Starting at one end, put the crepe in the pan, fill with 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture and roll up. Repeat until all 8 crepes are filled and nestled together snug in their bed, one against the other. (You can make the crepes to this point and refrigerate them up to 1 day ahead; if you do, add 15 minutes to the baking time.)
5. At this point, the Deans are going for two different end results. Dean Manigault covers her crepes with the remaining chicken sauce and 1/2 cup of Parmesan, because she likes a creamy, soft consistency. Dean Pollak continues making a few extra crepes to use up all the filling. She is going for a crispy top to contrast the creamy interior. She tops the crepes with 1 cup of Parmesan. Either way, bake the crepes for 30 minutes.