Potato and Chicken Casserole – Картофельная Запеканка с Курицей По-Французски

This comforting potato and chicken casserole is an all-in-one dish. The tender potatoes flavored with carrots, onions and garlic make up the base of the casserole and it’s all topped with juicy chicken, made golden and crisp by the cheesy crust.

It was a sunny, June afternoon, back in 2006. We had all my things that I had accumulated as a single gal, plus all the wedding gifts that we’d gotten packed into the car. My childhood home was warm and inviting as usual, filled with conversations and comfortable sounds. I was about to leave the only home I had even known and my family to start my new life as a married woman. It was a bittersweet day – I had married the most wonderful guy on earth (of this I am 100% sure!) but we all knew that I would be miles away, 1335 miles, to be exact.

Life changing moments like this have a way of being stamped in our memories. I remember the feelings, the sounds and the smells. The aroma of the Potato Chicken Casserole wafting from the kitchen throughout the whole house. I don’t think I ate much, since I usually lose my appetite when I’m nervous or emotional.

I remember hugging everyone good bye, Mom starting to cry, Dad getting choked up as we all prayed together. Every time I looked at my siblings I had these terrifying thoughts  playing in my mind – “I’m going to be the sister that lives far away and nobody really knows”, “I won’t get to see them grow up”, “they’re going to change so much”. I’ll never forget driving down the long driveway, and crying for miles, Sergi quietly holding my hand. Emotional, huh? I’m not even the emotional type:).

This is my favorite casserole. It beats Lasagna any day, in my opinion. It may not be pretty to look at, but it sure is tasty. It’s the character that counts anyway, right?

We’ve been making this in our family for years, and still love it just as much. It tastes very Russian. Unlike most casseroles that I’ve eaten, this one doesn’t taste too heavy, but is still a hearty one dish meal. You have your potatoes and meat in one pan. The potatoes are tender and flavorful, but still hold their shape. The chicken is the crowning glory on top of the potatoes, and since we use chicken thighs, it’s so juicy and moist. For a crispy, golden crust, the chicken is spread with a bit of mayo and cheese. Ingredients:

2 lbs potatoes, Yukon gold (about 6 medium)

1 onion, minced

1 carrot, grated

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon butter or oil

1- 1 1/2 cups half n half

salt, pepper, poultry seasoning

1 Tablespoon dry herbs, seasoning blend

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1-2 onions, thinly sliced, optional

8-10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless

3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt

4-6 oz grated cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterey Jack, Colby, Gruyere, etc.)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel and and julienne the potatoes, about 1/4 inches thick. Place the potatoes in a 9 x 13 inch deep baking dish.

Yukon Gold potatoes keep their shape really well. Russet potatoes will fall apart and become mushy. I think the gold potatoes taste better too.

I usually cut the potato in half, cut each half into 1/4 inch parallel slices, lengthwise, and then cut through the stack, making parallel 1/4 inch cuts.

It’s pretty important to cut the potatoes thinly, or they will take much longer to cook.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the minced onion, grated carrot and the minced garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, on medium heat, until the vegetables are softened and slightly golden.Add the cooked vegetables to the potatoes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, and any combination of dry herbs and/or seasoning mixes that you like. Mix to combine.
Top the thinly sliced onions on top of the potatoes. This step is completely optional. If you’re not a fan of onions, you can skip it. Meanwhile, prep the chicken thighs. If you didn’t buy boneless skinless chicken thighs, I have a tutorial how you can debone chicken thighs. Remove the bone, skin and cut out all the grease that you possibly can.

Season on both sides with salt,  ground black pepper, poultry seasoning, paprika and any other seasoning mixes that you like.

Heat the half n half until it’s almost boiling. Pour over the potatoes. It should barely cover the potatoes, but still not come to the top.
Place the chicken thighs on top of the potatoes.

By the way, you can use pork instead of the chicken. Cut country style pork ribs into thin pieces, pound each cutlet into thin, uniform pieces, season and place on top of the potatoes. You can also use sausage. I usually brown the sausage first, though.

I would NOT recommend using chicken breast in this recipe. Chicken breast cooks very quickly and 1 1/2 – 2 hours in the oven will make it as dry as leather.

Thinly spread the mayonnaise or yogurt on top of the chicken and then sprinkle with grated cheese. You can use any cheese that melts well and use as much or as little cheese as you like. Cover with aluminum foil.

To keep the cheese from sticking to the foil, spray it with oil first. This is a good trick to keep in mind when making anything that’s topped with cheese, such as lasagna.

Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, until the potatoes are cooked through. Take off the foil in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so you can brown the cheese. You can even broil it, if you’d like for just  a few minutes. Keep an eye on it though. It tends to burn to a crisp while your back is turned. The second that you step out of the kitchen or start washing dishes, POOF, it’s all black!

Serve warm. I like to reheat it in a skillet if we have leftovers.

Potato and Chicken Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs potatoes, Yukon gold (about 6 medium)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1- 1½ cups half n half
  • salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon dry herbs, seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1-2 onions, thinly sliced, optional
  • 8-10 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • 4-6 oz grated cheese (Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterey Jack, Colby, Gruyere, etc.)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel and and julienne the potatoes, about ¼ inches thick. Place the potatoes in a 9 x 13 inch deep baking dish.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the minced onion, grated carrot and the minced garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, on medium heat, until the vegetables are softened and slightly golden.
  4. Add the cooked vegetables to the potatoes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, and any combination of dry herbs and/or seasoning mixes that you like. Mix to combine.
  5. Top the thinly sliced onions on top of the potatoes. This step is completely optional. If you're not a fan of onions, you can skip it.
  6. Meanwhile, prep the chicken thighs. If you didn't buy boneless skinless chicken thighs, I have a tutorial how you can debone chicken thighs. Remove the bone, skin and cut out all the grease that you possibly can.
  7. Season on both sides with salt, ground black pepper, poultry seasoning, paprika and any other seasoning mixes that you like.
  8. Heat the half n half until it's almost boiling. Pour over the potatoes. It should barely cover the potatoes, but still not come to the top.
  9. Place the chicken thighs on top of the potatoes.
  10. By the way, you can use pork instead of the chicken. Cut country style pork ribs into thin pieces, pound each cutlet into thin, uniform pieces, season and place on top of the potatoes. You can also use sausage. I usually brown the sausage first, though.
  11. I would NOT recommend using chicken breast in this recipe. Chicken breast cooks very quickly and 1½ - 2 hours in the oven will make it as dry as leather.
  12. Thinly spread the mayonnaise or yogurt on top of the chicken and then sprinkle with grated cheese. You can use any cheese that melts well and use as much or as little cheese as you like.
  13. Cover with aluminum foil. To keep the cheese from sticking to the foil, spray it with oil first. This is a good trick to keep in mind when making anything that's topped with cheese, such as lasagna.
  14. Bake for 1½ - 2 hours at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, until the potatoes are cooked through. Take off the foil in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so you can brown the cheese. You can even broil it, if you'd like for just a few minutes. Keep an eye on it though. It tends to burn to a crisp while your back is turned. The second that you step out of the kitchen or start washing dishes, POOF, it's all black!
  15. Serve warm. I like to reheat it in a skillet if we have leftovers.

68 Comments

  • Victoria

    Olga, first of all,let me say that i absolutely looove your website. I don’t even know what dish to.start with:) you are so young, but cook like a professional cook!!!! Nice job.
    Can’t not to write my second thought. I read your hearbreaking story about what happened to you back in 2007. I actually was reading your story in my hospital bed, recovering after my delivery. A am terribly sorry for your loss:( but I am happy that God healed you and you are sharing how great He is with other people.
    Finally, may the Lord bless you and your husband that you have made a strong decision to adopt two children. He will give you wisdom, love and patience to raise up those children. Just serve Him with all your heart.
    Sorry, for such a.long message . But I needed to share these with you. God bless:-)

    • olgak7

      Awww…. Thank you, Victoria! What a sweet message! I savored every word:).
      God has definitely blessed me SO much, and I will be thankful forever. Once in a while I don’t feel good and it’s such a great reminder of how far I’ve come and what a blessing it is to be alive and healthy.
      Thanks for your encouraging words. My husband and I are very excited to be parents!

  • Ilona

    The evening before you posted this recipe i left some chicken thighs to unthaw overnight and next morning i was wondering what to cook with them. So when i check your website i see this recipe and thought “wonder no more” lol. This recipe is a keeper. My whole family loved it. Easy to make and very delicious. Thanks

  • Kristy

    Hey Olya I want to try this recipe out but instead of half and half can i use chicken broth? Or does the half and half add some special yummy flavor that chicken broth won’t?

    • olgak7

      Hi Kristy,
      Great question. When you cook the potatoes in half n half, they have a creamy, yummy taste. I personally don’t like the flavor of the potatoes cooked in chicken broth. They taste funny to me,absolutely on the bland side, but I know there are a lot of recipes that use chicken broth to cook potatoes in. It’s up to you. If you’re trying to cut down on calories, I would substitute milk for the half n half. It will be a little watery, but so will the chicken broth version. The flavor will be better though.

  • oksana

    Hi Olga love your blog is so easy to make food with all those pictures Thank you. I was just wondering can i use a chicken breast for this recipe?

    • olgak7

      Hi Oksana,
      Thank you!
      I wouldn’t recommend using chicken breast, because it dries out too quickly. Baking it for 1 1/2-2 hours will make the chicken way too dry.

  • Vita

    Hello! I made the casserole last night! I have to say, it is my new favorite dish! My whole family absolutely loooved it! The kids (all 3 of them) asked for seconds! They are super picky eaters so that almost never happens! We ate more then half of it last night and i ate the rest of it for lunch AND dinner today :)! Thank you! It was AMAZING!!!

    • olgak7

      Hi Vita,
      I’m so happy to hear that! This is one of my favorite dishes too. I’m so glad your family enjoyed it. I also make a large casserole every time I make it so we can have leftovers.

  • Sarah

    Hey Olga
    I made this tonight. It was really good! However, I think the carrots made it get really really watery. I had to dump out the carrot water (if that makes any sense). How can this be avoided? Do you think I added too much carrot or I didn’t cook it long enough with the onion?

    • olgak7

      Hi Sarah,
      I’ve been making this casserole for years and have never had “carrot water”. I don’t think it’s because you didn’t cook it long enough with the onions, since many times I put in the onion and carrots completely raw into the casserole. The only thing I can think of is that you added too much liquid. It shouldn’t cover the potatoes completely, but just a bit more than halfway.

  • Pierre

    Thank you… I am home in Kentucky for a project for my company. I have been living in SW France for the last 13 years. I have tried eating my sister in law and brothers cooking, and on occaion tried cooking wholesome meals for them(french cuisine) they don’t care for it much. Me… personally, I got tired of eating everything that made (mostly from a box or a can) I don’t know, maybe I am a bit spoiled. It’s refreshing to see that there are people who still take the time to cook. I have found that there is still one truth in my family. They like meat and potato’s. Great recipe! Goes great with Pinot Grigio…

    Merci!

  • oksana

    Hi i made this dish just the other night. It was delicious!! My hubby and I really enjoyed:) It was nice and creamy:) Thanx for sharing!! God Bless You.

  • Nina

    Hi, Olga,
    First of all I want to say BIG THANKS for this wonderful recipe. I spend exactly 30 min to prepare it in the morning (before church) put in the oven and when we come back it was ready. Potatoes were not so soft like I love and I’d like to give one tip for you. Boil your cut potatoes for approximately 3 min( you can do it in half n half or just use water) and then combine it with onion and carrot. It’s became so soft and you safe time in baking.
    PS. Your recipe is better then mine. Definetely I will cook it in your way.

    LOVE YOUR WEBSITE. 🙂

    • olgak7

      Thanks, Nina! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      I do precook potatoes for many of my recipes, but I like to avoid an extra step in this one. My potatoes are always soft though. Here are a few things that help. 1. Did you use Yukon Gold potatoes? Different types of potatoes will cook differently. I have found that Yukon Gold potatoes work best in this recipe.
      2. Did you cut the potatoes thin enough? I cut them much thinner than most recipes I’ve seen. Cutting them really thin cuts down the cooking time quite a bit.
      3. The the half n half before pouring it over the potatoes. I actually timed it once, and the cooking time was cut down by almost an HOUR! I was really impressed.
      Of course, you can precook the potatoes if you’d like. This is one of the meals that I like to cut down the number of steps as much as possible.
      One other idea is to cook the onion and carrots in a large pot and when they soften, add the potatoes and half n half, precook for a few minutes and transfer to a baking dish. That way, you kind of combine the steps.

  • Sveta

    Hi Olga!
    This looks absolutely delicious!! Quick question for you. Do you think using heavy cream would work as well as half of half?

  • anna

    Made this tonight, it was delish! i was worried potatoes would get mushy since i used russet potatoes but it came out wonderful! thank you.

  • Elena

    Hi Olya,
    I discovered your blog last week and have tried 3 of your recipes already, including this one 🙂 I made it with pork, cause that’s what I had in my freezer. It was so yummy! My hubby was very happy too, he said “it was fantastic!” 😉
    Ты молодец! So young and so gifted! God bless you and your family.

    • olgak7

      Thanks for such a sweet comment, Elena! I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the casserole. It’s one of the top recipes that I make, since everyone in my family loves it so much.

  • Anna Maria

    I made this for dinner last night. I don’t know what I did wrong! I followed the recipe exactly & the 1/2&1/2 curdled & it wasn’t as creamy as I thought it would be. It was certainly rich, maybe too rich for my & my husbands tummies… That won’t stop me from trying more of your recipes!

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry you were disappointed in the recipe, Anna Maria. I guess everyone has different tastes. I haven’t run into the problem of curdling.
      I didn’t intend for this casserole to be creamy. If you’re looking for a creamy potato casserole, you will need to use heavy creamy. Or try my recipe for Scalloped Potatoes.

  • Liliya

    I have been meaning to try this and am I glad I did! I added some shredded red bell pepper just because I happened to have some in the fridge and that added an amazing aroma and taste (if you like bell peppers, that is). Paired with some sauerkraut= perfect comfort food!

    • olgak7

      That’s awesome, Liliya! I’m glad you enjoyed the dish. Bell peppers and potatoes are a great combination. Sauerkraut is definitely a great side dish to pair with the potatoes too:).

  • Tanya K.

    This is one of my family’s favorite! So delicious, filling and light. And very easy to make! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I just love how you share a little bit about yourself before each recipe. You are a terrific story teller! (You should really consider writing a book some day :))

  • Vika

    Hi Olga,
    Do u think this recipe would work if I prep everything the night before; and bake it first thing in the morning? In time for lunch…. Thanks ahead! And I absolutely love this over lasagna any day! Lol

  • Vika

    Hi Olga, would you think this recipe will taste the same if I prep everything the night before;and bake it first thing in the morning? I also in prefer this over lasagna any day

    • olgak7

      Yes, you can prep it the night before.
      I would recommend storing the different components separately. Place the peeled and cut potatoes in a bowl covered to the top with water. Potatoes will turn brown otherwise.
      Put the sautéed carrots and onions in a separate bowl, along with the shredded cheese. Season the chicken and store it separately too. The next day, it will be very easy to assemble and bake.
      You can assemble the whole dish, refrigerate it over night too, but the results won’t be as great. Mainly because you have to use more half n half to cover the potatoes completely, which will cause the cooked dish to be very watery and also, the casserole will have to cook twice as long because it will be cold. I like to add warm dairy to the casserole, which speeds up the cooking process a lot.

  • Vera

    Hi Olga, I don’t remember if the recipe i found before was on your website or natashaskitchen. The recipe included chicken breast cut in pieces and fried. then separately mushrooms and onions fried. And finally a broth including whipping cream and other ingredients. then all this was placed in the oven. I can’t find that recipe. Maybe you can help me with that…thank you and Merry Christmas 🙂

  • Katrina

    Tomorrow is my nephew’s 15th birthday and because of his fascination with different cultures, we are having an ‘International Potluck’. I recently told him about this recipe and he has been begging me to make it for him. It’s in my oven now and looks amazing already!
    I’m curious: how would you suggest reheating it? Temp and duration?

    • olgak7

      Hi Katrina,
      Sorry for not responding for so long. I’ve been quite ill for a while.
      You can reheat it in the microwave, in a skillet or even in the oven.

    • olgak7

      It should take almost the same amount of time, just a little bit less. Since the potatoes are raw, they need quite a bit of time to cook through. As long as you cut the potatoes thin and heat up the dairy, that will speed up the process a lot.

  • Tanya

    Love this recipe. I only now just realized it says to use Yukon Gold. I always thought Russet potatoes were the ones that held their shape well. Have I had it wrong all along!? Oh well, mushy potatoes here we come!!

  • Sunnie

    I am SO excited about this recipe! Yum! When you say that sausage can be used, do you mean ground sausage or bratwurst style? My husband isn’t a big fan of chicken thighs and making with sausage sounds delicious!

    Thanks! -Sunnie

  • Smitha

    Thank you for the recipe Olga, I made this two night ago and it was absolutely delicious… 🙂 definitely making it again.

  • Yelena

    Dear Olga!
    I know this is an old post, but I must share how amazingly good this recipe is! I made this for dinner today, and it’s already half way gone, my son who i consider a picky eater, asked for seconds! I am so grateful for your website, I check your website almost everyday for recipes, and always refer to your website when I am looking for a recipe! Thank you! May God Bless you!

    • olgak7

      That’s wonderful, Yelena. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the casserole. Thank you for taking the time to write and thank you for the kind words.

  • Olga

    Hi Olga,
    I absolutely love this dish! Than you for the recipe! I was wondering if your plate ( casserole dish) gets very yellow/burned from the half and half ?
    In your picture it looks all white and clean, my dish get very dirty in the outer edges ( inside and out) so it keeps me from serving it at family gatherings
    Do you have any suggestions?

    • olgak7

      Hi Olga,
      My baking dish doesn’t get too burned. If you have a problem with that, maybe you need to decrease the oven temperature. Also, if you use a clean and damp paper towel or kitchen towel, you can use it to clean up the baking dish before serving.

  • Galina

    I absolutely love this dish, made it few times allready and it always comes out delicious. My and my kids favorite dish. Thank you Olga 😀

    • olgak7

      No, the potatoes will oxidize and turn gray/brown, Sharon.
      You can peel and cut the potatoes, cover them with water and store them in the refrigerator and sauce the vegetables and store them separately. Then when you’re ready to cook the casserole, drain the water from the potatoes and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

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