The Ficelle Picarde

Quick everyone!! Get hold of a pancake pan !!!

With the Chandeleur today and Pancake Day on February 12th, this month is the "Month of the Crêpe"!

Today I share with you a savoury version of the famous pancake : La Ficelle Picarde!
Filled with bechamel sauce, roast chicken left-overs and scrumptious mushrooms, this pancake is real delight for your taste buds !!!

The recipe originated from the Picardie, an area of France just up north Paris. It's a classic Sunday evening meal when you've got roast chicken leftovers and a bit of time to spare.


Ingredients for 4 ficelles picardes.
For the pancake dough :

  • 50g flour
  •  50g cornstarch
  •  250ml milk
  •  3 eggs
  •  Salt, ground pepper, ground nutmeg

For the bechamel sauce: 
  • 1 shallot
  • some salted butter
  •  a splash of white wine
  •  250g mushrooms
  •  200g chicken breasts or thighs meat, cut in pieces (by all means, use leftovers)
  • 150ml double crème
  •  30g salted butter
  • 30g flour
  • Approx 250ml milk 
  •  Grated cheese (emmental or gruyère are best)

First, the pancakes dough :
  1. Mix flour, cornstarch in a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Slightly beat the eggs and add them to the well. Mix everything together with a balloon whisk, incorporating the flour mix into the well a little at a time.
  3. Slowly add the milk and mix with your whisk until the dough is smooth.
  4.  Season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
  5.  Cook the pancakes in a non stick pan, on high heat. Set aside.
Now, la béchamel !
  1. In a frying pan, cook on a medium heat the finely chopped shallot with some butter.
  2.  When the shallot are translucent, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine.
  3.  Add the sliced mushrooms, and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  4.  Add the chicken pieces and toss everything together.
  5.  Pour 150ml of double cream in the pan and cook until reduced.
  6. I a saucepan, start to make a roux : melt 30g of butter. When butter is ready, add all te flour at once and work the mixture with a wooden spoon until it's a little dry.
  7.  Pour the milk in the saucepan, little by little and mix with a whisk to combine.
  8.  When the bechamel starts to thicke, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. (Be generous on the salt and pepper). You can add some grated cheese.
  9.  Add the bechamel into the chicken and cream and let cool down for 15min.

How to make the ficelles :
  1. Preheat your oven at 200°C.
  2.  Prep a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3.  Take a pancake and put a quarter of the chicken mixture in the middle of the pancake.
  4.  Bring the sides of the pancake to the center and tuck the lower part under the crêpe to form the ficelle.
  5. Sprinkle with a little grated emmental and bake for approx 10 minutes, or until the pancake is golden and slightly crispy.
  6. Serve warm with some lettuce.
Bon appétit !

Tip : this recipe works well as a sweet pancake too. Just leave out the salt, pepper and nutmeg and add 10g of sugar, a little vanilla paste/extract and a tablespoon of rum. Hummmmmm!!


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