Last updated on November 13th, 2017 at 11:46 pm
This easy Chicken A La King recipe is comfort food to the max. Made from scratch with tender chicken, mushrooms, red bell peppers and peas in a super creamy white sauce. Serve it over biscuits, toast, rice or in a pastry shell for a fancier presentation!
There are many versions of Chicken A La King and different stories of where the dish originated. This version however, is how my grandmother used to make it. Needless to say, it is my favorite.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make this simple dish.
- The first thing to do is to poach boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. I poach the chicken in chicken broth, a bay leaf and black peppercorns. The broth (homemade or canned) is essential here. It not only flavors the chicken but it will be used to make the sauce. I cannot stress enough – do not use plain water!!
- When the chicken is cooked and cool enough to handle shred it or cut it into bite size pieces. My grandma always shredded the chicken so that is what I do. Gather your ingredients and keep the poaching liquid handy!
- In a skillet, melt butter and saute the vegetables until tender. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, melt the rest of the butter and add the flour. That is called a roux and the base of the sauce/gravy. As you can see, it looks like wet sand.
- Ladle the poaching liquid/broth slowly, whisking constantly. Making the sauce with broth helps keeping it on the lighter side. I am not saying this is a “diet, low calorie” dish but instead of using heavy cream, I use lots of broth and finish it with Half and Half for a bit of body and creamy texture.
- As you can see, when you start adding the broth, the sauce looks a bit lumpy. It is all good!! Keep whisking, it will get smooth and silky, especially after adding the Half and Half.
- After the sauce is ready and seasoned add the saute veggies, chicken, frozen peas and mix. If the mixture is too thick, add more broth until you reach a nice, creamy consistency.
- If you don’t have whole black peppercorns you can skip them. No need to rush to the store to get them.
- You don’t like mushrooms? No need to add them. Some versions of Chicken A La King don’t include mushrooms.
- Besides frozen peas, you can add frozen carrots or a frozen veggie mix.
- If you love comfort food, try this Beef Stew in Red Wine! or this creamy Mexican Green Chile Rice Casserole.
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- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
- 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup Half and Half
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
In a medium pot over medium heat bring the broth, bay leaf and peppercorn to a boil. Add the chicken breast (they should be in a single layer for even cooking) cover the pot and lower the heat. Poach them in the simmering liquid for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool until you can handle it. Shred the chicken. Discard the bay leaf and peppercorns ) and reserve the poaching liquid.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, mushrooms and bell peppers and saute stirring often until the vegetables are tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and when it melts whisk in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly.
With a ladle, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid. The mixture will get thick immediately. Slowly, pour in 1 additional cup of the poaching liquid whisking constantly. A sauce will start to form. Slowly, whisk in the Half and Half.
Cook the sauce on low heat for about 5 - 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground mustard and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Add the cooked vegetables, shredded chicken and frozen peas to the sauce and mix to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add more of the poaching liquid until desire consistency. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve hot.
- Split the biscuits in half and ladle some of the chicken on top of the bottom half of the biscuit or serve over rice or Texas Toast. You can also filled baked pastry shells with the chicken mixture.
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