Chicken & Chive Rolled Crêpes

There’s rarely a meal that I love more than afternoon tea. The only (and like I said, rare) exception is a lively and bountiful brunch. Like afternoon tea, there’s a sense of art and elegance to this culinary merging of eats. A brilliant brunch experience wakes you up, gets you excited, and reminds you to enjoy life.

If you love brunch as much as I do, then you absolutely must check out my friend Tina’s delightful site, The Worktop. Tina specializes in bringing the best of yummy AM~PM eats to her readers, and even has a London Brunch Guide since she’s based out of the UK. Many of her recipes have a healthier twist and some are just plain decadent, but all are equally tempting. My favorites are her adorable Pancake Ice Cream Sandwiches and Chorizo Menemen, also known as Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs, which is something like a spicy, scoopable omelet. Sounds delicious right!?

Today’s feature on The Worktop are my Chicken & Chive Crêpes. What I love about this recipe is that these tender, stuffed rolls can be made several hours ahead of time. In fact, the filling can even be made the day before you plan on serving. If you’re putting a beautiful weekend brunch spread together, these savory pancakes deliver on deliciousness without causing unnecessary stress in the kitchen.

The secret ingredient in these crêpes is Lapsang Souchong tea steeped in milk, which adds a layer of smokey flavor to the creamy chicken filling. The tea adds depth and richness to a butterless, olive oil roux-based white sauce. With the use of pine-fired tea and fresh chives, the recipe balances darker winter flavors with lively spring ones.

A special thanks to Tina Jui from The Worktop for the chance to guest post! Head over to her site for the complete filling recipe and for a bit of insight into my personal breakfast tastes.

Chicken & Chive Rolled Crêpes

Makes 10 filled crêpes. 


{Chicken & Chive Filling (for Steps 1 & 2)}


2 cups flour

4 eggs

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

non-stick spray


medium pot

large tea filter (I used a T-Sac)

large skillet


10″ crêpe pan

wooden crêpe spreader (I just used the edge of my dough scraper)


1/2 cup measure

1/4 cup measure

work surface


1.)  Flavor the Milk. In a medium pot, bring the 2 cups of milk to a boil. Right when it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and steep the Lapsang Souchong for 5 minutes. It is easiest to do this with a large paper tea filter. After 5 minutes, remove the steeped tea leaves. Set the milk aside.

2.)  Make the Filling. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil until it shimmers. Lower the heat, then sauté the diced shallot until just translucent. Add the flour to the shallots and oil. Cook the flour for a few minutes, until light brown in color. Gradually add the hot milk to the roux, then continue to mix and cook the sauce on low heat until everything is well incorporated and starts simmering. Add the provolone and parmesan to the simmering white sauce. Let it melt completely. Add the white wine and spinach, again mixing to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Add the diced chicken, nutmeg, and ground pepper to taste. Set this filling aside to cool.

3.)  Make the Crêpe Batter. Place all the crêpe ingredients (except the non-stick spray) in the blender, placing the liquid ingredients in first before adding the dry. Blend until the mixture is lump-free and smooth.

4.)  Cook the Crêpes. Spray the crêpe pan with non-stick spray, then place it on very low heat until the pan gets evenly warm. Pour a 1/2 cup of the batter in the center of the pan, then smooth the batter out to an even thickness with a wooden crêpe spreader. Cook the crêpe for a few minutes on the first side, until it releases from the pan. Check to see that the color of the crêpe underneath is lightly browned, then flip the crêpe over to cook on the other side for a few minutes more. Repeat this step to make 10 crêpes.

5.)  Fill the Crêpes. Place a crêpe on a work surface, then place 1/4 cup of the cooled filling in the bottom 1/3 of the round (the side closest to you), in the center. On top of the crêpe, shape the filling into a 6″ log with a small spoon. Generously scatter some chopped chives over the filling.

Fold the bottom side of the crêpe (the side closest to you) over the filling, then fold in the right and left sides towards the center. Roll the crêpe up tightly, in a sushi roll like fashion, upwards (away from you) until you get a cigar-shaped, filled crêpe roll. Repeat this step to make 10 filled, rolled crêpes. Serve immediately, or make up to a few hours ahead of time.

*** Tip: If the filled crêpes are made ahead of time, cover a plate of crêpes with a large dampened paper towel, then place them in the microwave to warm for a few minutes before serving. The cheese filling will melt and become oozy again.

Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes

When I attended the LA Tea Festival a few weeks ago I ended up dropping in on Chef Robert Wemischner‘s class on tea and cheese pairings.  We often think of wine and cheese, but tea and cheese?  I was skeptical.

When it comes to wine we think of the land where the grapes grow, when and where the grapes are harvested, and how they are treated after harvesting.  All the same elements are important to the character of the tea that you drink.  So, just like wine, the complex layers of flavor you enjoy in tea can complement the unique tastes of artisan cheeses in the most unexpected and delicious ways.

Sencha and goat cheese?  Oolong and Gouda?  Assam and Brie?

All surprisingly fantastic pairings.

Especially if you are drinking hot tea, the warmth of the tea brew can can awaken and amplify the true character of a particular cheese, which can make for some unique flavor highlights.

During the tea and cheese tasting class, one of the parings I found most intriguing with was that of a strong, robust blue cheese with smokey, deep Lapsang Souchong tea.  Drinking the Lapsang Souchong actually tamed the pungency of the blue cheese, making it flavorful without being too assertive.

This recipe for Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes pairs a tangy cheese from France with turkey breast brined in a Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea.  I love that I’m able to pair two of my favorite culinary cultures here in one chic and tasty to-go meal.

Roquefort is a sheep’s milk cheese that comes from caves in the South of France and has characteristic blue streaks.  This cheese is rich, tangy, sweet, and slightly salty.  The black leaves of Lapsang Souchong tea are actually smoked over a pinewood fire, giving the tea a distinct and full-bodied savory flavor.

These rustic baguette sandwiches are perfect for fall picnics and outdoor get togethers. Wrapped in parchment and tied with twine, they make an easy and elegant portable lunch that will leave you longing for a trip to Paris…or maybe even China!

Lapsang Souchong Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes

Serves 4.


1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Roquefort blue cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp lemon juice

2 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup arugula leaves

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly

4 French Sandwich Baguettes, sliced in half lengthwise

1 Tea-Brined Turkey Breast, sliced thinly


parchment paper

twine or string


1.)  Mix yogurt, mayo, Roquefort, garlic, and lemon juice together, then add salt and pepper to taste.

2.)  Spread Roquefort mixture on both sides of cut baguettes, then scatter thyme leaves over the spread.

3.)  Arrange arugula, tomatoes, and sliced turkey breast on bottom part of baguettes, and place top baguette piece on to finish the sandwich.

Roasted Tea-Brined Turkey Breast

Floral, clean, fruity–these are all words that I commonly use to describe tea.  Well, these were the words I used until I first tried Lapsang Souchong tea.  Lapsang Souchong is a tea that comes from the Fujian region in China, and is uniquely smokey, savory, and fiery.  When you brew Lapsang Souchong, it’s faintly reminiscent of walking into a rustic BBQ shack.  I know about this since I spent a few years living in South Carolina, the land of BBQ.

Tea, the easy cheat to deep, smokey flavor

During the summer I posted a piece on Tea Smoked Shrimp, where you actually use tea leaves to smoke meat on a gas grill.  Consider this recipe the lazy winter version of that recipe, where you can get all that smokey flavor into your meat without all that messing around with the grill.  Hey, sometimes you are up to it and sometimes you aren’t right?

Steeped Lapsang Souchong takes on a dark mahogany color

Other ingredients for tea brine

Other ingredients for tea brine

Lapsang Souchong tea has a very unique taste that deserves to have a culinary application, and this is the best one I could think of.  Since I use the very healthy, very low-fat cut of turkey breast here, it’s really the ideal time for using a brine.  I’m actually using the Lapsang Souchong to replace some of the salt used in a typical brine.  I’ve seen many brine recipes commonly use at least 2 Tablespoons of salt to every 2 1/2 cups of water.  For this brine recipe, I’ve used a ratio of 2 Tablespoons to 8 cups of water.  This is a huge proportion change, but trust me, you really won’t miss any of the salt.  The Lapsang Souchong tea is savory enough to add a wonderfully deep layer of meaty flavor to the brined meat that will leave you so happy to have eased up on the sodium.

Steep turkey breasts in tea-brine for 4-24 hours in the fridge

Brush off peppercorns after the turkey has brined

This Tea-Brined Turkey Breast is amazingly tender, flavorful, and moist.  It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, for a simple and elegant meal, and also great in sandwiches when cooled and sliced thinly.  I’ve used it here in my recipe for Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Baguettes where the best of Chinese tea is paired with the most classic of French specialties.

Ready for the oven!

Lapsang Souchong Brined Turkey Breast

Serves 4-6.


2- 2 pound turkey breasts

1 large sprig fresh thyme

1 large lemon, sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp black pepper corns

2 Tbsp salt

8 cups of water (4 hot, 4 cold)

4 Tbsp Lapsang Souchong loose leaf tea

olive oil for pan and drizzling

cracked black pepper


large bowl or pitcher

wire mesh strainer

large airtight container or extra large ziplock bags

roasting pan

large piece of foil

meat thermometer


1.)  In a large bowl or pitcher, steep Lapsang Souchong tea in 4 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes.  Remove the tea leaves with strainer and add the brown sugar, salt, thyme,  black peppercorns, and remaining 4 cups of cool water into the bowl/pitcher.  Mix and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

2.)  Place the turkey breast in a large airtight container or ziplock bags (double-up) and add the cooled tea brine mixture and lemon slices.  Let the turkey breasts brine in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.

3.)  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  After turkey breasts have brined for 4-24 hours, remove them from the brine, and brush off any clinging back peppercorns or thyme sprigs.  Use paper towels to blot any excess moisture off the meat and place the meat on a roasting pan drizzled with olive oil.  Use more olive oil to lightly pour over turkey breasts and season with cracked black pepper.  If you prefer, also place brined lemon slices and thyme sprigs on or by the turkey breasts to roast in the oven.

4.)  Roast the turkey breasts in the oven for 1 -1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of each turkey breast reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the meat.  Remove the meat from the oven and loosely cover with foil for about 20 minutes to allow juices to settle (please don’t skip this step!).  Serve warm or at room temperature.

* And here’s the recipe for Tea-Brined Turkey and Roquefort Bleu Cheese Baguettes, where you can use some of your leftovers.