Chicken a la king is not a common item in Filipino parties but it is a special occasion dish for my family. It is my husband’s favorite dish in the whole wide world and his mother only cooks chicken a la king for his birthday. Okay, so I decided he could feel like it was his birthday today. I cooked a rather large pot of chicken a la king and made sure that it had lots of sauce so that the kids could enjoy it too.
My mother-in-law uses evaporated filled milk in her chicken a la king; I used cream. Traditional chicken a la king recipes use chicken breast and include sherry among the ingredients. No one likes chicken breast very much in my family so I used chicken thigh fillets. I have no sherry available so I just omitted it.
Lightly salt the chicken then cook by steaming or simmering in a little water. Cool and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Core and remove the seeds of the bell peppers and pimientos. Dice. Slice the mushrooms, or cut them into quarters. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Cook the bell peppers and pimientos in hot butter for about a minute. Remove from the butter and set aside. If using fresh mushrooms, cook them in hot butter as well for about a minute, then remove and set aside.
Reheat the butter. Add the flour, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Cook over medium heat for about a minute. Do not allow it to brown. Pour in the chicken broth little by little, stirring as you pour. Add the cooked chicken, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Season with salt. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour in the cream, stir, and simmer for another minute. Serve hot with rice or toasted bread or in commercially available pastry cups. May also be served cold with buttered toast.
Chicken in Sour Cream
The magic of sour cream. And if that’s too sinful for you and you worry about clogged arteries, substitute yogurt, and the result is just as good. This chicken in sour cream dish is so good that you’ll want to dip pieces of bread in the sauce until your plate is quite dry.
Place the chicken in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a large, wide cooking pan (I used a wok). When hot, add the potatoes and fry over high heat until the edges start to brown. Don’t worry if the edges appear too brown at this point the sour cream will take care of that so don’t sweat it unless you burn them.
Add the chicken and continue frying until the edges of the chicken start to brown. Add the carrots and onion wedges. Fry for a minute longer. Add the peas. Pour in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
This dish is best when cooked a day ahead. Everything is much tastier after reheating. If sour cream is not available in the supermarket, make your own. Pour a cup of cream in a bowl and squeeze half a lemon over it. Let stand for 10 minutes before stirring and using.