Classic Chicken a la King is a comfort food favorite. Who can say no to chicken cooked in a creamy sauce with peas, mushrooms and peppers?
I’ll come right out and say it. I’ve never liked Chicken a la King. Not only does the name do absolutely nothing for me, but I also never liked the consistency. Mushy, cooked to death and just bland. Also, I despise green pepper and Chicken à la King ALWAYS had tons of the stuff, boiled to mush. Also, what is it with food that is cooked for too long tasting like everything and nothing at the same time? So bizarre. But I knew that Chicken a la King had potential so I set out to create a delicious version of my own.
And not to toot my own horn, but I think I’ve pretty much perfected it. I tried not using too much cream and instead, used the liquid the chicken was poached in to make a smooth, rich white sauce. I also sautéed the vegetables individually before adding them to the sauce to simmer for a while with the chicken. I found this to be incredibly delicious and comforting. Proper homey comfort food, done right. And not a green pepper in sight!
Table of Contents
What is Chicken a la King?
It’s a creamy, comforting dish consisting of chicken, peas, peppers and mushrooms. Perfect served on steamed rice for an easy dinner.
How to make the best Chicken a la King?
Place a whole chicken in a large pot and add aromatics like carrot, celery, garlic, leeks and herbs. Fill the pot with cold water then bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the chicken to cook for at least an hour or until the meat is soft. Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside. Drain the stock through a mesh-sieve, reserving the liquid. For a shortcut, use rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breasts.
To make the chicken a la king, saute the onions and peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the same pan and fry until cooked. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk into a roux then pour in chicken stock (the reserved stock from poaching the chicken is ideal), milk and cream.
Shred the chicken into large chunks then add to the sauce with the vegetables. Season to taste with lemon, salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 10 minutes before serving over rice or mashed potatoes.
Chicken recipes for dinner
- Lemon pepper chicken thighs
- Easy Parmesan crusted chicken
- One pot tomato basil chicken rice
- Easy healthy chicken broccoli soup
Chicken a la King
- 1 whole free-range chicken
- 1 carrot quartered
- 1 celery stick roughly chopped
- 1 leek washed and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
for the Chicken à la King
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1-2 cups chicken stock chicken's poaching liquid
- 1/2-1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup cream
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 yellow pepper thinly sliced
- 250 g mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1.5 cups frozen peas
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a large stock pot, place the chicken, carrot, celery, leek, onion, garlic and herbs.
- Top with cold water and place over medium heat.
- Allow to the chicken to simmer for 1 hour-1 hour 15 mins until it's cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the liquid and allow to cool.
- Drain the stock through a muslin-lined sieve, reserving the liquid. (This makes the most delicious chicken stock so freeze the left-overs in freezer-proof bags for later use.)
- To make the chicken a la king, sauté the onions and peppers in a splash of olive oil until golden brown and cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the mushrooms until golden brown then add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds then tip into the same bowl as the peppers.
- Poach the peas in boiling water until de-frosted then drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter then whisk in the flour to make a roux.
- Slowly whisk in the stock, milk and cream and allow the sauce to simmer until thick and smooth. You might not need all of the liquid.
- Shred the chicken, discarding any skin, boned and cartillage. I break the chicken meat into large chunks as I don't like it when it loses its texture.
- Add the chicken and vegetables to the white sauce then stir well. If the sauce is too thick at this stage, simply add a splash of milk/stock.
- Add the lemon juice and zest and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Season to taste then serve with rice/mashed potatoes.