Chicken with Creamy Cassis Sauce

It’s amazing what elegant meals one can serve quickly when one has a well stocked pantry (or liquor cabinet). This is a simple sautéed chicken breast recipe, distinguished by a creamy sauce based on crème de cassis, a lovely sweet dark red liqueur made from blackcurrants. The best quality crème de cassis comes from the Dijon region of France and is used for making the cocktail kir. My father adapted this recipe from one in the reader questions section of a twenty year old Gourmet magazine. It’s based on a recipe for chicken with a Dijon mustard, white wine cream sauce, so if you don’t have access to cassis, you could substitute with a little Dijon mustard. The sauce is delightful; I could see doing something similar with pomegranate molasses or even plum sauce.

Chicken with Creamy Cassis Sauce Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup crème de cassis (or a teaspoon of Dijon)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Method

1 Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge them in flour, shake off the excess flour and season with salt and pepper.

2 Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown and the chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover with foil to keep warm.

3 Discard excess fat in the skillet. Add the wine and deglaze, scraping up the browned bits. Boil the wine down for half a minute, add the crème de cassis and the cream. Continue to boil down the mixture until it is reduced by a third. Whisk in the butter. Add salt and pepper and spoon over chicken breasts to serve.

22 Comments

  1. Marianne

    This is a wonderful recipe. I have been doing the Dijon mustard variation of this for some time, and my friends love it. I add capers to enhance the fragrance of the sauce (add it before the white wine).

    I’m not sure capers with creme de cassis, but they definitely go with the Dijon mustard.

  2. Lisa S.

    Ooh, that sounds good and simple – a good Wednesday night dinner. Any suggestions for sides? Potatoes, rice, wild rice? Veggie medley (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)? I’m not inspired for side dishes at the moment, so help please.

    We’re usually do steamed broccoli. With everything. ~Elise

  3. katy

    So elegant! It’s like a red wine sauce with a twist. Somehow I never think of chicken as a particularly elegant food, but this looks incredible.

  4. Aimee

    Sounds delicious!
    As a former resident of Dijon, I always have a little Creme de Cassis on hand…I think I will definitely have to try this very soon!

  5. Laura Neulat

    This recipe looks so tasty! It’s right my style: simple yet tasteful. I’m going to try it (I always have very good creme de cassis, it’s great in sauces and Kir).

  6. Sylvia M. Nightingale

    In the photo, it doesn’t appear to me as if there is the slightest suggestion of cream in that sauce. It is too clear and red (but beautiful).

  7. Rosalind

    Can’t wait to serve Creamy Chicken with Cassis Sauce for a party.
    Question: What starch would go well??? Whipped Irish potatoes??? I have to fill the hungry men at the table.
    Thank you, Rosalind

  8. David

    Sounds good and looks great. Creamy and tangy at the same time. Can you find cream de cassis in a local grocery store? I’ve never heard of it. Your recipe looks delicious! Thanks!

  9. jonathan

    I haven’t had Creme de Cassis since I was a bartender (‘tween jobs). I tried to invent a drink called the “Raisin Bran”, mixing the Cassis with a wheat beer.

    Needless to say, it was a very short bartending career.

  10. Tea

    Mmmm, this reminds me of a recipe in the first Silver Palate Cookbook that was for blackberry chicken. It’s been years since I made it, but I remember everyone loved it. Yours looks delish!

  11. Michael

    This looks very delicious and elegant in it’s simplicity. Curious though, would you suggest for or against serving this over seasoned rice? Practically any combination of chicken and heavy cream in my mind makes me think rice or pasta.

  12. Mary

    Mmmmm, this makes me remember the kirs that were often served when I was studying abroad in France. Or occasionally, kir royale with champagne instead of white wine. Delicious!

    I have never thought to look for creme de cassis around here. Is it easy to find?

  13. Aimee

    Okay, so I just couldn’t wait! I tried it last night, and it got rave reviews from my husband, his mom, and his step-dad–and it was super quick to cook, which is a big bonus for me, as I have very young twins and not a lot of free time–I had time to cook, serve, and eat between feedings–a miracle!

  14. Katie H

    I’ve also been making the cream/ white wine/ dijon version for quite awhile, and this sounds like an amazing twist on it. I don’t dredge my chicken, I don’t think it needs it and it’s faster not to. But maybe the flour left in the pan helps thicken the sauce a bit?

    Also, I usually serve it over white rice with a green veggie on the side. My fave is green beans, but anything works.

  15. Noel

    This is wonderful, quick to make and very tasty. We usually start off with a Kir or even a Kir Royal if we feel like celebrating something. I normally serve this with french fries and sweetcorn.

  16. Emilia

    I was a bit surprised to read that you should continue boiling once you add the heavy cream. I always thought heavy cream shouldn’t be boiled, otherwise it turns into water. Am I wrong?

    No problem boiling cream. ~Elise

  17. sophie

    What do you think about using both dijon mustard AND creme de cassis for the sauce? I think it would go well together, but want to check before I ruin the chicken!

    That’s one that you’ll just have to try to find out. ~Elise

  18. sophie

    reporting back . . . I thought the cassis and mustard together was delicious! I used 1/4 cup of each and it was really good!

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