Chicken with Shrimp


by: Head Chef

Poulet aux écrevisses - chicken with crayfish - is one of the great dishes of France, or more specifically of Lyon. Two hundred years ago, there were more such dishes - seafood combined with chicken - that provided a means of extending the flavor of rare and expensive ingredients with something relatively neutral, such as chicken. The same method used for crayfish works for shrimp. Be sure to buy wild gulf shrimp with heads for this dish, as you will need the heads to make the creamy broth. Or, if you have shrimp heads reserved in the freezer; you can use them to make the broth. Makes 4 main-course servings.


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serves: 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

24 heads shrimp with intact (peeled and deveined, with heads reserved)

4 tomatoes (chopped)

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme)

1 cup heavy cream

1 (4-pound) chicken (or 2 chicken breasts and 2 chicken thighs with drumsticks)



5 tablespoons (or 6) butter

1 onion (finely chopped)

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (soaked in 1 tablespoon water) (optional)

4 leaves from sprigs tarragon (chopped at the last minute)

1 cup pearl onions (or walnut-size boiling onions, peeled) (optional)

1 package (10-ounce) cultivated mushrooms (preferably cremini)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken with Shrimp

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 526

  • Total Fat: 36.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 17.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 200.4 mg
  • Sodium: 502 mg
  • Total Carbs: 17 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
  •     Sugars: 7 g
  • Protein: 35 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it ripples. Toss in the shrimp heads and stir for about 5 minutes, or until red and fragrant. Remove from the heat, let cool, and then process in a food processor for 1 minute, or until finely ground. In a saucepan, combine the ground shrimp heads, tomatoes, thyme, and cream, bring to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain through a coarse - mesh strainer, and then again through a fine-mesh strainer. Set aside. If using a whole chicken, cut it up. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper.

2.  In a sauté pan just large enough to hold the chicken, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and cook for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn and cook on the other side for about 5 minutes more, or until lightly browned. The chicken shouldn't be completely cooked at this point. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. lf the fat is burned, discard all of it and replace it with 1 tablespoon fresh butter.

3.  Return the pan to medium heat, add the chopped onion, and cook gently for about 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the reserved shrimp head mixture, the saffron and its soaking liquid, and the tarragon, and let the sauce sit off the heat until close to serving.

4.  While the chicken is cooking, put the pearl onions in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer and add enough water to come halfway up their sides. Partly cover the pan, bring to a medium simmer, and simmer for about 15 minutes-watch closely and add a little more water if it begins to boil away - or until the onions are easily penetrated with a knife. If there is still water left in the pan, turn the heat to high and boil away the water. Then add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

5.  Cut the end off the bottom of each mushroom stem if dried out or dirty. If the caps are larger than 1 inch across, cut through the stem into quarters. In a sauté pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. Add half of the mushrooms and toss and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they start to brown. Add the rest of the mushrooms and continue sautéing for about 6 minutes, or until all the mushrooms are well browned and fragrant.If the mushrooms release water - something to avoid - continue cooking until all the water evaporates. Remove from the heat.

6.  About 10 minutes before serving, return the chicken, skin side up, to the sauté pan, add the sauce, pearl onions, and mushrooms, and cover the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is firm to the touch. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on warmed plates. Add the shrimp to the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, or until it turns orange. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the chicken.

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