Jul 20, 2014by tracey Comments

A few weeks ago I said I would publish the recipe for Richard Olney’s Chicken Gratin.

I thought I might be able to cut corners and just put up a link to it. However, while there are Richard Olney recipes to be found online, this is not one of them.

I was happy to see that SIMPLE FRENCH FOOD the book I found thus in, is still in print.

I made this chicken again recently.  I would not call it a true summer dish – though the weather has not been that hot that one cannot serve it.  It is a great cold night, comfort food main course.  You are not going to find it listed under The American Heart Association’s  top choices. But, for a special night it is worth trying.

Richard Olney’s Chicken Gratin


1 frying chicken cut up


2 TBSP butter

Large handful finely crumbled, stale, but not dry bread, crusts removed

1/3 cup white wine


Cheese Custard

¾ cup heavy cream

3 egg yolks

salt, pepper

3 ounces freshly grated Gruyere

Juice of ½ lemon and deglazing liquid



Salt the chicken pieces and cook them in the butter over a medium heat until nearly done and lightly colored on all sides – about 20 minutes.

Transfer them to a gratin dish just large enough to hold them, arranged side by side. Cook the  crumbs in the chicken’s cooking butter until slightly crisp and only slightly colored.  Put them aside. Then deglaze the pan with the white wine, reducing by half.

Whisk together the cream, egg yolks, seasonings, and cheese, then incorporate the lemon and the deglazing liquid. Spoon or pour the mixture evenly over the chicken pieces, sprinkle the surface with the breadcrumbs, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until the surface is nicely colored and the custard is firm.