Chicken Tchoupitoulas

Chicken Tchoupitoulas

 “To Peggy: Good cookin’ Good lovin’! “

That’s what he wrote in the dust jacket of my newly purchased cookbook. “He” being the venerable master of Cajun cooking, Paul Prudomme; the book being “Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen.”

I had rehearsed a clever line to say, but feeling like a lowly swamp rat, I could barely manage a hasty “thank-you”.

It’s been 20 years since I met the master, ate at his restaurant and had him sign my beloved cookbook. Judging from the grease-spattered pages, my favorite recipe in the book has to be Chicken Tchoupitoulas.

I must not be the only fan of this dish, named after a street in New Orleans. I still notice Chicken Tchoupitoulas on an on-line K-Paul menu today.

I’ve taken extensive liberties by slashing fat from Chef Prudomme’s masterpiece of a recipe. In fact, he probably wouldn’t recognize it.

But I’m saving calories for Chocolate Soufflé and other Valentine’s day decadence, so have resigned myself to make the cuts. There will be no fried skin on my chicken breast meat and I’ve substituted a minimum amount of olive oil for the butter. Bye-bye yummy Béarnaise sauce…hello…..chicken stock.

I just penciled in the changes to the cookbook; the results, though less sweet and juicy, were wonderful. I served the dish, like the original recipe, with diced, boiled potatoes, seasoning the potatoes with olive oil and additional spice blend. To save time, you could substitute a Cajun or Creole seasoning blend for the first seven ingredients. I have these spices in my cupboard, however, and prefer a freshly made blend.

Recipe: Chicken Tchoupitoulas


  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders*
  • 2 plus 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 3 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon


  1. Make a spice mix by combining salt, paprika, cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and basil. Toss with chicken tenders.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté chicken until almost cooked and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. (Do not overcook the chicken, it will continue to cook in the sauce.)
  3. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. Deglaze pan with wine or stock, scraping pan, for 1 minute. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pan.
  4. Add mushrooms and scallions to pan and sauté 2 minutes, stirring.
  5. Whisk cornstarch into stock; whisk stock mixture into mushrooms and scallions. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat. Stir in tarragon and reserved chicken and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through. Season with additional salt and cayenne, if desired.

*You may substitute skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips for the tenders.

Time: 25 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "Feed Your Soul"

6 Responses to Chicken Tchoupitoulas

  1. Barbara Cohen says:

    I’m wondering what the chicken actually would taste like can you please give me an idea I have never made this before .

    • Peggy says:

      Hi Barbara! It’s a highly seasoned, medium-hot flavor. The tarragon adds a note of mild, savory anise, which is unexpected but refreshing. When I had my specialty food shop, it was a big hit served over potatoes. If you enjoy Cajun &/or Creole cooking, it could turn into one of your favorites! Peggy

  2. Kate says:

    That is not chicken tchopatulas. You didn’t include the Bernaise sauce that tops the chicken. Also the classic recipe has a fried diced potatoes sautéd with Cajun sausage onions and mushrooms on which the chicken is placed on top then covered with Bernaisle sauce.
    However the recipe that is listed looks really good! It’s just not Chicken Tchopatulas.

    • Peggy Lampma says:

      Hi Kate! Thanks for the comment. As mentioned in the post, I took liberties with Paul Prudhonne’s recipe for Chicken Tchoup by (greatly) simplifying the recipe and reducing the calories. My “faux” bernaise has the chickeny-lemony-tarragon flavor but with waaaaay less butter and, of course, I didn’t use egg yolks. I, therefore, sacrificed rich, unctuous flavor for calorie-reduction and ease (-: And tasso, of course, would be necessary as you mentioned to be a truly authentic Tchoup! You are right! It is not a classic Tchoupatulas but a mock-Tchoup, if you will. Thanks so much for clarifying! Peggy

  3. Kate says:

    I’m sorry, I didn’t read your post, stupid me! But i intend to use your recipe because it sounds really good. Thanks for your reply.

    • Peggy Lampma says:

      No worries, Kate! I love chatting with readers who know what they’re talking about, which you so obviously do. I think you’ll enjoy this simplified version but in no way does it match the rich flavors on the real deal!

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