Chicken à la King
The origin of this dish is disputed, some accounts crediting various restaurants in the USA or Claridge's in London with its creation. The earliest known mention of the recipe was in the New York Times in 1893, however Constance Spry states that
Early recipes for this dish, dating back to the days of King William [possibly IV], said breast of chicken only might be used, but later recipes indicate the whole of the bird, provided it is young and tender.
It is indicated therefore that the recipe could date from the early 19th century, but it did not become a popular dish until the 20th century.
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- 225g small mushrooms, wiped
- A little butter
- Salt, to taste
- 60g extra butter
- 2 green (or one each of green and red) peppers, diced
- 30g flour
- Pinch of Hungarian paprika
- 340g cold, cooked chicken meat, finely diced
- 430ml stock made with half chicken stock and half milk or cream
- 50ml sherry
- A dash of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F - gas 4), [fan oven 160° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Place the mushrooms in a greased baking dish and put a little dab of butter on each one.
- Lightly season with the salt, cover with foil and bake for 15-25 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- Meanwhile, melt the 60g butter in a saucepan.
- Add the peppers and sauté until soft.
- Add the flour and cook gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the paprika and cook for a few seconds more.
- Gently stir in the stock and sherry and bring to the boil.
- Add the chicken, the baked mushrooms (with their liquid) and the lemon juice.
- Heat through and serve in a warm serving dish.
Can be served mixed pasta or on a bed of rice, with vegetables or as a topping for baked potatoes. Alternatively trying serving on toast or with croûtons or as a filling for a roll with the crumb hollowed out.
- Adapted from a recipe in The Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume (1956)
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