Chef John's Chicken a la King


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 cup diced sweet bell peppers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ⅓ cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 4 cups cubed roasted chicken
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and salt. Saute until mushrooms release theirmoisture. Continue cooking until moisture evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add shallots; cook and stir just until shallots soften, 3 or 4 minutes.


  • Step 2

    Reduce heat to medium. Stir in flour to coat the mushrooms; cook until flour begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes, to form roux. Add peppers; cook and stir about 1 minute. Pour in sherry wine; allow to sizzle about 30 seconds. Stir in stock. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

  • Step 3

    Stir in thyme, parsley, cream, and chicken. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust as needed. Top each serving with some chopped fresh chives.

  • Chef's Notes:

    If you prefer your chicken a la king on the thicker side, increase the amount of flour in the roux from 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup.

    There is no substitute for the dry sherry in this, except maybe a little splash of mild, sweeter vinegar.

    This recipe yields 4 small or 2 large servings.

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