Chicken à la King

Or, as someone who tried this recipe recently put it, “Chicken à la fookin’ delish”.

This is my ultimate comfort food – quick to make, tastes great with fresh bread, and absolutely packed with butter – A ‘recipe’ for success, if I ever heard one.

It’s the very first dish I learned to cook from the wonderful Mammy, as I loved it so much, and I make it every Christmas day for my family. It is gorgeously creamy, and can easily be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken for extra vegetables, and the stock for vegetable stock.

Ingredients (for 4)

3 Chicken breasts
1 or 2 peppers
1 or 2 onions
(These quantities can be changed, depending on your taste – I used 3 chicken breasts, 1.5 peppers and 1 onion, for 4 people)

Vegetable oil
50g Butter
Three/four dessert spoons white, plain flour
Three quarters of a pint Chicken stock (1 stock cube)
Half pint Milk
Three dessert spoons of mayonnaise
Pepper

Rice/Cous cous/bread/quinoa – whatever you want to serve it with. I love a little rice, and some crispy bread.

Steps to deliciousness

1) Chop the onions and peppers.
2) Sweat the onions in 25g butter on a low heat until the smell in your kitchen makes your mouth water (and the onions are transparent – this is clearly less important)

(Make sure to peek..)

And finally, they will look like this

3) Add peppers.
4) Chop the chicken, and fry in small batches in vegetable oil, as you are cooking the vegetables. You could bake these also, if you wanted to reduce the calories (PAH!)

5) Add another 25g butter to the peppers and onions, once the peppers are cooked (this is not exact – it depends on how much sauce you want – you could increase this, increase the flour, and increase the stock/milk mix to give more sauce. However, this will lead to you being incredibly impolite, and lifting your bowl to pour the remaining sauce into your mouth. It’s ok – I won’t judge)

6) Add flour until the butter is soaked up – generally, for my quantities, this is 3/3.5 spoons. The picture below will give you a good idea of what this looks like. Depending on the freshness of the onion/pepper, this changes a little bit from time to time. Do not stress about this – this can be fixed later!

7) Dissolve a chicken stock cube in three quarters of a pint of hot water. Add the half pint of milk.
8) Throw this into the pan with the vegetables, and stir with the joy that comes from knowing dinner is almost ready.

9) Bring to the boil, then back down to simmer to thicken. Add the chicken.

(My favourite moment of this recipe is when it turns from the picture above into the picture below)

10) If you didn’t add enough flour at 6), you can add a little more now (if the sauce isn’t starting to thicken up after a couple of minutes). You’ll need to be careful to avoid lumps, so use a sieve (Fishing around with a fork to break them up delays dinner which no one, least of all me, appreciates), and then bring back to the boil again to get rid of the floury flavour, and then straight back down to simmer.

11) Season with a good amount of pepper – there’s plenty of salt in the stock.
12) Finally, turn off the heat, and add your mayonnaise just before you serve. Depending on your taste, add more or less mayo – I use a good three or four heaped dessert spoons. Try adding two, and tasting to see how you feel about it.

Last year for Christmas, my plate looked so nice, I took a picture – This is the finished product, in all its tasty glory.

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