Chicken with black currant juice and crème fraiche

Chicken with saft sauce

This may not be one of the most photogenic recipes ever, but it’s definitely a good one that is worth sharing. It’s also unusual in that it has black currant juice concentrate (svartvinbärssaft) in the sauce. The subtle flavor of black currant, paired with thyme and juniper berries, is an intriguing combination for this quick and easy weeknight dinner.

This recipe comes via my mother-in-law. I’m not entirely clear how common it is to use saft (juice concentrate) in Swedish cooking, but sauce seems to be a must with any kind of meat in Sweden and this provides an interesting twist. So if you had a boon of black currants that resulted in an overabundance of saft, here is a recipe to help you use up your stash.

Chicken with black currant juice and crème fraiche 
serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) svartvinbärssaft (black currant juice concentrate)
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 cup (230 g) crème fraiche
2 chicken bullion cubes
10 juniper berries, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce or mushroom soy
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh, minced (if using fresh thyme, add it as the very last step before serving)
*cornstarch if needed
serve wtih cooked white rice or wide egg noodles

1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and stir occasionally until browned. Remove from heat.

2. While the chicken browns, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Mix well to blend and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

3. Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer five minutes.

4. Serve over white rice or wide egg noodles.

*Note: If the sauce seems thin, dissolve a bit of cornstarch in warm water, add to the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring well.

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Categories: poultry, recipes


I moved to Sweden in 2008. This blog is for people who would like to learn more about Swedish food and culture.


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5 Comments on “Chicken with black currant juice and crème fraiche”

  1. September 7, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    Photogenic or not, It looks delicious to me! I could see this going very fast off the table here.

  2. shari
    August 4, 2014 at 10:24 pm #


    can you make this dish without the berries? my husbands cousin made a thick brown sauce for us with creme fraiche with big chunks of chicken and it was delicious. I am trying to figure out how to re-create it.

    • August 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

      If you mean the juniper berries, yes, you could leave those out. But the black currant cordial is pretty key to the sauce, so that I’d recommend keeping in. I really do love this recipe, and hopefully it will help with your search for the brown sauce you are seeking.

  3. June 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    This looks spectacular…but no saft ! In France …could one possibly use ‘Crème de Cassis’ (alcohol involved) as a replacement ingredient? Tak!

    • June 13, 2015 at 8:01 am #

      I really do love this recipe. Not sure about the creme de cassis substitution, but it’s worth a shot I suppose. Otherwise, keep an eye out for a black currant bush and make some of your own saft. Or if you have a Polish market around, you could try finding it there.

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