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Chicken Chesapeake: Best Easy Maryland Recipe with Crab

Introduction to Chicken Chesapeake

Steeped in culinary traditions, the Chicken Chesapeake is a tribute to Maryland’s heritage and its favorite crustacean, the blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. This delicious recipe combines succulent chicken breasts and a mound of crab in a feast that’s as visually appealing as it is flavorful. So, let’s embark on this culinary journey together and explore how to make the best easy Maryland Chicken Chesapeake.

What is Chicken Chesapeake?

Chicken Chesapeake is a delightful fusion of chicken and crab cake. This dish includes skinless chicken breasts stuffed with a crab imperial mixture. This mixture is similar to crab dip, but with a heftier dose of lump crab meat. The chicken is then usually topped with a slice of tomato and melted cheddar cheese, giving it that perfect golden brown finish.

Close up of a Chicken Chesapeake dish with a slice of tomato on top of the chicken.

Key Ingredients in Chicken Chesapeake

The key to the best Chicken Chesapeake is the fresh crab meat, ideally blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay. The crab mixture usually contains cream cheese, sour cream, and sometimes a little Dijon mustard for a tangy kick. The chicken is typically seasoned with Old Bay seasoning, a popular seafood seasoning in Maryland. Other essential ingredients include Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and bread crumbs. To top off the chicken, a sprinkle of cheddar or Parmesan cheese is used.

Chicken Preparation: Seasoning and Cooking

In preparing your Chesapeake chicken, start by seasoning the boneless chicken cutlets with a mix of Old Bay seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. After seasoning, the chicken is usually cooked on a grill pan or a medium skillet over medium heat until it reaches the ideal internal temperature. It’s important to note that the chicken should not be fully cooked at this stage as it will continue to cook in the oven later.

A seasoned chicken cutlet being cooked on a grill pan.

Crab Mixture Preparation

While the chicken is cooking, you can start preparing the crab mixture. In a large bowl, combine lump crab meat, cream cheese, sour cream, and a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning. For that extra tang, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. After mixing, you should be left with a creamy crab mix that’s ready for stuffing into the chicken.

Stuffing the Chicken Breasts

Once the chicken is cooled, slice a pocket into the middle of each chicken breast. Be careful not to slice all the way through. Spoon the crab mixture into the pocket, creating a generous mound of crab. The stuffed chicken breasts are then placed into a casserole dish or a deep baking pan.

Baking the Chicken Chesapeake

Next, the stuffed chicken breasts are baked in the preheated oven. The cooking time usually varies from about 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and the cheese on top has melted. It’s crucial to ensure the chicken is cooked through, reaching the right internal temperature.

Serving the Chicken Chesapeake

Chicken Chesapeake is best served hot, straight out of the oven. This dish pairs wonderfully with green vegetables such as green beans or a little rice on the side. For a truly Maryland experience, drizzle some Old Bay cream sauce over the top of the chicken before serving.

A plate of Chicken Chesapeake served with green beans and rice.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, reheat the chicken in the oven at a reduced temperature until it’s heated through. This method helps to maintain the chicken’s moisture and the delicious flavors of the crab mixture.


There you have it, a simple yet flavorful chicken dish that brings together the culinary traditions of Maryland in a delicious way. Chicken Chesapeake is not just a recipe, it’s a journey into the heart of Maryland’s culinary heritage. So, next time you’re in the mood for a special occasion dish or just want to try something new, give this Chicken Chesapeake recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Chicken Chesapeake Recipe

Chicken Chesapeake Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Chicken Chesapeake is a rich and savory dish that combines the distinct flavors of chicken and crab meat, further enhanced by the creaminess of heavy cream and cheddar cheese. This dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or even a sophisticated dinner party.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and half of the Old Bay seasoning.
  3. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  4. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
  5. Add the white wine to the skillet, and let it simmer for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol.
  6. Lower the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Allow this sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to thicken.
  7. Add in the lump crab meat, the remaining Old Bay seasoning, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are well combined.
  8. Place the cooked chicken breasts in a baking dish. Pour the crab and cream sauce over the chicken, making sure to spread it evenly.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese on top of the chicken and sauce.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley before serving.


If you like an extra kick, sprinkle a little more Old Bay seasoning on top before baking. This gives an added depth of flavor that complements the creaminess of the dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 550Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 800mgCarbohydrates: 10gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 60g

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