A couple weeks ago while watching the Food Channel, there was a repeat of Guy Fieri’s show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives where they were highlighting the dish Chicken a la King. It looked so good that I knew I needed to try this dish. I cannot say that I have ever eaten Chicken a la King before, but I was intrigued on to where and how the dish was created.
After researching a couple of crock pot recipes for Chicken a la King I was pretty confident that the recipe was the creation of a soup company as a marketing ploy for consumers to purchase Cream of Chicken soup. Further research uncovered that although as to the who and where is narrowed down to a few individuals, Chicken a la King was a menu item in restaurants during around the 1890’s and originally was made with a base of cream and sherry. So much for thinking that a company such as Campbell’s Soup introduced Chicken a la King just as String Bean Casserole was created.
I had a busy day ahead of me, so I after reviewing a couple different recipes, I went with one of the recipes from Food.com that appeared simple and was to be cooked in a crock pot. The night before the meal, the main ingredients were prepped and bagged for easy assembly in the crock pot late the next morning.
- 1 Pound of Boneless Chicken Breast, Diced into small cubes
- 1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
- 3 Tablespoons Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pinch of Ground Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Celery Stalk, Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Onion, Chopped
- 10 Ounce Package of Frozen Peas, Thawed
- 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Pimientos
- In the crock pot add the Cream of Chicken Soup, Flour, Black Pepper and Cayenne Pepper.
- Mix together to create a paste.
- Add the Chicken, Celery, Green Bell Pepper and Onion to the crock pot.
- Thoroughly mix with the paste created in the first step.
- Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours.
- Add the Peas and Pimientos, stir and cook for another 30 minutes.
I have read enough recipes that say to serve over butter toast, egg noodles, vol au vent cases or puff pastry shells or biscuits. I went with the biscuits and made homemade buttermilk biscuits to go with the Chicken a la King.
The meal was good, but after doing more research, there are some additional items I would add to the dish.
I would double up on the Cream of Chicken soup, Black Pepper and Cayenne Pepper to make for a wetter meal and allow for evaporation that occurs over 7 hours of slow cooking in a crock pot even when covered. I would also add a small package of fresh sliced mushrooms and a splash of Sherry when the Peas and Pimientos were added to give the dish an additional flavor that is lacking in the original recipe I replicated.
I will make this meal again with a modifications listed above. The most important lesson learned in making this meal is that prepping the ingredients the night before made making this dish so easy that despite some of the drawbacks in using a crock pot, the ease of use and simplicity far outweighs any other detraction.