Chicken à la King is an easy and delicious weeknight dinner that’s fit for…well, a king.
It’s rich, creamy, and overflowing with juicy chunks of meat!
This classic American dish dates back to the early 1900s. And while you’ll find plenty of different recipes, there are a few key elements.
Chicken is a must, obviously. Plus, the sauce almost always contains mushrooms and veggies, like bell peppers and peas.
Best served over rice, it’s a hearty, quick, and creamy dinner the whole family will love!
So make this chicken à la King recipe tonight!
Comforting and Quick Chicken à la King
Even though this recipe is fit for royalty, it’s not named after a king.
Well, not a crowned king, away. Instead, it’s named for a hotel chef that invented the dish – William King.
It’s a simple, indulgently rich dinner that infuses tons of nutrition from the veggies and plenty of protein from the tender chunks of chicken.
The sauce blends butter with chicken stock and milk. Then comes the veggies for fun pops of color and a little extra texture.
And you can add almost any veggie you like to this dish to dial up the nutrition.
As mentioned, mushrooms and bell peppers are a great place to start. But feel free to include carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
The great thing about this recipe is that it incorporates simple pantry staples.
So you likely have everything you need for this tasty meal in your cupboard right now!
- Butter – Use unsalted so you can control how salty it is in the end.
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms add fantastic savory and earthy flavors. They also bring a nice layer of chewy texture.
- Green Bell Pepper – For crunch, color, and flavor.
- Flour – To thicken the sauce. Use half the amount of cornstarch to make it gluten-free (e.g., 2 teaspoons of flour = 1 teaspoon of cornstarch).
- Salt and Pepper – No fancy seasoning here. Just a simple dash of salt and pepper to lift all those savory flavors.
- Chicken Stock and Milk – For flavor, richness, and a creamy finish.
- Cooked Chicken breasts – White meat is easy to work with and shreds beautifully. Or you can always use leftover chicken (or turkey) if you have it.
- Pimentos – They’re not exactly pantry staples, so you can leave them out if you don’t have them on hand. But I highly recommend adding them if you can.
How to Make Chicken à la King
This recipe is a slightly simplified version of the classic dish.
You’ll still need to make a sauce, but it’s not complicated and comes together in a snap.
- Cook the mushrooms and peppers. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add the mushrooms and peppers and cook until they’re tender (5 minutes).
- Add spices and make the sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the flour, salt, and pepper with a heatproof spatula. Slowly add the chicken stock, mushroom liquid, and milk and stir until smooth.
- Add the chicken and serve over rice. Keep it cooking for a few more minutes to heat the chicken, then serve over fluffy rice and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Chicken à la King is a classic, comforting dish that’s perfect even for kitchen newbies.
That said, I do have a few simple tips and tricks to make your dinner one to remember.
- Use leftover chicken or turkey. This is an easier option than cooking it separately. Plus, it’s a great way to repurpose leftovers into something completely different!
- Use room temperature liquid. It’ll mix better if it’s a little warm and not right from the fridge.
- Give the sauce some kick. Add a dash of paprika or cayenne for a subtle layer of heat.
- Serve it with rice, pasta, potatoes, or biscuits. There are no wrong answers.
- Add chopped ham for a salty finish. Think of it like chicken and ham soup, only thicker and served over rice.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
To Store: If there are any leftovers, store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
As with pretty much everything, you’ll need to let it go cold first. Then wrap the dish in plastic and pop it in the fridge.
Or, portion it into plastic containers. Either way, it should last about 4 days in the fridge.
To Freeze: Since it’s a cream-based dish, this doesn’t freeze well. In a lot of creamy recipes, you’ll see it turn watery when thawed.
It might look curdled too, which isn’t bad for you, but it’s not particularly appetizing either.
That said, if you must store it in the freezer, here’s the best way:
- Store Chicken à la King in a freezer bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
- Alternatively, store it in a freezer-safe container and wrap it in foil.
- Always store the creamy sauce separately from the rice.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat slowly on the stove.
It should keep for about 4 months.
More Tasty Chicken Dinners You’ll Love
Chicken Florentine Pasta
Hot and Sour Chicken Soup
Buttermilk Baked Chicken
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