Creamy and hearty CHICKEN ALA KING is the dish you’ll crave for if you’re looking for an easy cozy dinner. It’s so flavorful that just smelling the mouthwatering aroma of this dish will leave you speechless. This recipe will surely warm your soul with its smooth and silky sauce, chunky meat, and vegetables!
We’ve all been in that grocery aisle where all the canned goods are shown. You can see different ready-to-eat meals there but you know better than to buy instant food. I personally prefer making your own meal from scratch especially with chicken ala king and I hope you do too.
The flavors of this dish lies more on the soul that you put into it than the ingredients. That’s why homemade chicken ala king hits differently than their canned counterpart. Ignore the canned chicken the next time you go to the grocery and tell yourself “I deserve better”.
What is Chicken ala King?
Chicken ala king is basically a dish consisting of different veggies, mushrooms, and chopped chicken, of course. All of these are married together by a thick and flavorful creamy sauce.
The classic version of this dish includes the use of egg yolks and pimiento. Then eventually the recipe developed into a more convenient version for the taste buds of modern folks.
You might be wondering why it’s called chicken a la king. Well, we can’t really say for sure since there are varying accounts for the dish’s origin. But what we can be sure of is that it’s so delicious that it must have been a meal fit for a king.😉
The dish might seem a little daunting when you first look at the ingredients but I can help you out there. You can clearly see parts of chicken a la king when you look at it this way: Creamy Sauce, Veggies, and Meat. Each part consists of specific ingredients that blend well together to create the iconic flavor.
I should also inform you that the final ingredient for this dish is soulful magic. Not the literal soul of a living being, of course, but a.k.a love and effort.😉
The butter is a good base for the right consistency of the creamy sauce which is thickened by all-purpose flour. I highly recommend starting off with a thick base then just diluting it with the chicken broth. Adding the half and half will also make the sauce smooth and silky if you let it reduce for a bit.
The mix of these ingredients adds both nutrition and a different taste dimension to our dish. Both the peas and carrots are hard when eaten raw but will be softer and tender when cooked. The onions and garlic would blend so well with the creamy sauce that you might think it dissolved. Pimento and bell pepper are both distant cousins of hot peppers. However, these variants are two of the mildest which makes them perfect for a family dinner. Thyme naturally complements the legitimate taste of chicken meat.
The good thing about this recipe is that you’ll use cooked chicken. This means that you can use any cooking technique with the meat. Be the boss of your own poultry whether it’s roasted, fried, air-fried, poached, or boiled. I personally prefer boiled or poached for this recipe to keep that moist meat inside.
Your chicken a la king wouldn’t be complete without the mushrooms that give an earthy touch to our dish. We are going to use Chunky Cremini Mushrooms for this recipe because it packs great volume and flavor.
What to Serve with Chicken ala King?
What do you eat with chicken ala king? Well, the options are limitless but you should still be aware of how flavor plays along with our main dish. I’ve compiled a few dishes you can prepare along with this recipe.
Coconut Rice, Yellow Rice, or any rice for that matter will be a great pair for chicken a la king. Just make sure that the rice has a mild flavor. This is the usual pairing in many different parts of the world. I like to balance things out with a milder dish since the recipe is already flavorful as it is.
You can also use this dish as a topping for pasta (like my Chicken Stroganoff HERE). While regular spaghetti and linguine or fettuccine might work great for this dish, fusilli would be my pasta shape for this one. It captures a lot of the sauces and you’ll be able to catch all the meaty chunks with this shape.
Lastly, you can serve your chicken a la king with a few pieces of Flaky Homemade Biscuits. Light and Fluffy Cream Biscuits are also a great combo for this dish. My favorite would have to be these Southern Buttermilk Biscuits because it simply goes well with the sauce.
Other Creamy Chicken Dishes
Want more creamy chicken goodness on your menu? Don’t worry, I’ve got tons for you to check out.
- Creamy Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Lemon Garlic Boneless Chicken Breast
- Chicken Francese
- Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
- Tuscan Chicken
How to Make Chicken ala King?
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter in large cast-iron or saucepan over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Melt an added 2-3 tablespoons butter, followed by all-purpose flour. Stir for about a minute. Then add onions, thyme, and garlic. Cook and stir for about 4-5 minutes, until tender.
Gradually pour in half and half and the chicken broth. Stir to fully combine. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbles appear.
Stir in celery and carrots, continue cooking for 3-5 minutes. Return the sautéed mushrooms back to the pot together with cooked chicken, frozen peas, chopped pimento, Creole seasoning, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the chicken has been heated through. Adjust with more broth, salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste.
Watch How To Make It
Chicken ala King
- 4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms , sliced
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme , minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic , minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half and half , (½ cup cream and ½ cup milk)
- 2 ¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 rib celery , sliced
- 2 medium carrots , sliced (about 1-1¼ cup
- 4 -5 cups cooked chicken , cut in chunks
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 ounces chopped pimento
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley , minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron or saucepan over medium heat.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Melt an added 2-3 tablespoons butter, followed by all-purpose flour. Stir for about a minute.
- Then add onions, thyme, and garlic. Cook and stir for about 4-5 minutes, until tender.
- Gradually pour in half and half and the chicken broth. Stir to fully combine.
- Bring to a boil; cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbles appear.
- Stir in celery and carrots, continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
- Return the sautéed mushrooms back to the pot together with cooked chicken, frozen peas, chopped pimento, Creole seasoning, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
- Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the chicken has been heated through.
- Adjust with more broth, salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste.
Tips & Notes:
- You can use any kind of cooked chicken: roasted, fried, baked, boiled, poached, among others. Just make sure the flavors in the chicken aren't that overpowering.
- Chicken ala King is best served immediately. But you may also opt to freeze it. Let it cool completely before transferring in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to a month.
- Yes, you can switch chicken with tuna. Make sure to use a good quality tuna for this recipe.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.