Chicken a la King made with poached chicken, mushrooms, sweet peppers, and heavy cream is comfort food at its best! Rich, creamy, and made from scratch, it's delicious served over rice, pasta, or bread.
Chicken is definitely my favorite protein ingredient. I love that it is so convenient to use and versatile enough to be enjoyed in many ways.
However, boneless and skinless breast part which has very little fat can prove tricky to prepare. There's but a fine line between moist, succulent pieces and dry, stringy meat.
Techniques for super tender meat texture
- For my stir-fries, I have taken to velveting to yield a super tender texture.
- For sandwiches and casserole dishes such as this chicken a la king, I like taking the extra step of poaching.
Poaching is a form of cooking where eggs, fish, fruit, and poultry are covered and gently simmered in liquid until cooked through. This low heat, moist-cooking method prevents food from overcooking too quickly and helps to retain moisture.
The chicken comes out juicy, flavorful, and the perfect slate to the rich and creamy white sauce!
- Saute the vegetables in butter for amazing flavor.
- For best results, I highly suggest poaching the chicken breast but feel free to use any cooked chicken such as a rotisserie, baked or grilled, you have on hand. Just debone and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- For extra nutrition, color, and texture, add frozen green peas, peas and carrots, or mixed vegetables.
- I use heavy cream to make the bechamel sauce but evaporated milk, half and half, or whole milk are also good options.
- For a smooth consistency, cook the sauce at a low and gentle heat so the cream doesn't curdle or separate.
- Want variety? Swap the chicken meat with quality canned tuna packed in water (go for albacore!).
- To spice it up, add a few dashes of cayenne or red pepper flakes.
- Cook the sauce a little thinner than you like as it will thicken as it stands.
How to serve
- Serve for lunch or dinner over steamed rice, noodles, or toasted bread. This creamy chicken dish is also delicious as an appetizer ladled in tortilla, phyllo, pie cups.
- Allow leftovers to cool completely and store in airtight containers or resealable bags. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat to an internal temperature of 165 F. Add broth, water, or heavy cream to loosen the consistency and adjust seasonings as needed.
Chicken a la King
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pounded
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup dry sherry wine
- cool water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, red pepper, stemmed, cored and chopped
- 4 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced thinly (or canned sliced mushrooms, drained)
- 2 cups broth (reserved from poaching the chicken)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, arrange chicken in a single layer. Add salt, peppercorns, pounded garlic, and bay leaves.
- Add wine and enough water to cover chicken to about 1-inch high or about 6 cups.
- Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top.
- When the liquid begins to boil, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the center of chicken reads 165 F.
- Immediately remove chicken from the pot and let cool to touch. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Strain broth and reserve about 2 cups. Discard aromatics.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat butter until melted. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add bell peppers and mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Add flour and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add reserved broth and heavy cream, whisking regularly to prevent lumps.
- Add chicken. Lower heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over rice, noodles, or toasted bread.