Chicken A La King can be made as low fat or as rich as you wish.
Amounts are approximations, play with them.
The original, "I start with raw chicken and make my own broth" version
- 1 whole chicken - no liver, heart, gizzards, etc.
- 1 1 pound bag whole carrots - peeled / cut in 3 inch chunks
- 8 stalks celery - in 3 inch chunks
- 1 onion - cut in half and peeled
- water to cover 1/2 of the chicken and vegetables
- about 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or "Better than Bouillon" - It is best to start low and add more later if needed by taste testing.
- 1 teaspoon pickling spices
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 2 cups milk (cream to skim as you prefer for fat content. If you want a creamy taste but not the fat try Fat Free Half & Half
- extra water if needed to make broth come to 6 cups
- 8 Tablespoons flour
- cayenne pepper to taste
- salt to taste (caution - chicken bouillon is already salty)
- only add cayenne and salt to taste at end
- 2 Tablespoons parsley - minced (fresh or frozen preferred)
- up to 1 cup butter (optional)
- 1 to 2 cups canned, drained peas (optional)
Put chicken (breast down), carrots, celery, onion, bouillon, pickling spice in large pot. Add water to the middle of the height of the chicken.
Cover, bring to a boil, return to medium heat, allow to cook until carrots are soft and chicken is done (legs loose, no pink flesh at the bone). Don't over cook the chicken, it will only make it tough. Reserve broth.
Lift chicken to a platter using large tongs and remove meat from bones. Dice or shred meat to bite size pieces.
Remove vegetables (this is why you cut them in big chunks) and dice into bite size pieces.
Strain broth to remove pickling spices. Skim fat off broth if you wish to reduce fat content of the dish. If you leave the fat you may not want to use butter to make the sauce.
Measure broth and water if needed to bring to total to 6 cups.
Use 4 cups of broth to cook 2 cups of rice.
Use remaining 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of milk to make sauce. Add flour to broth and milk (2 Tablespoons flour per cup of liquid).
There are 2 ways to make the sauce, with butter (very rich):
1) Melt the butter, add the flour and cook to make a paste. Slowly add milk/broth mixture and stir with a whisk until all liquid is added - 4 cups total.
OR without butter (low fat):
2) Put 1 cup liquid and the 8 Tablespoons flour in a blender (or a tightly cover jar) and blend until smooth. Add remaining liquid to make 4 cups total.
To make the dish as low fat as possible, don't use butter and skim off the chicken fat. An easy way to skim the chicken fat is to make the dish a day ahead up to the point of making the sauce. Refrigerate everything and the fat will solidify at the top where it can be lifted off.
Cook the flour/liquid combination until thick and boiling. On the stove top you must stir it constantly. In the microwave it is enough to stir it every 3 minutes - use a whisk either way.
After the sauce is made, season it to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and parsley.
Combine chicken, vegetables and sauce. Serve over rice.
Serves 6 - 10 as a full meal
Can be made ahead and microwaves wonderfully.
Add peas only if your family likes them, they can ruin the dish for some.
The quick, easy and mushroomy good UPDATED version that uses up one's left over turkey or lets one get done a whole lot sooner with a store bought roasted chicken:
Ingredients: 1 fully cooked Breast of roasted chicken or turkey 1 can chicken broth Chicken broth concentrate of some sort 1 bag carrots ½ pound mushrooms (portabellows are wonderful) 1 pint fat free half and half 1 stick butter ¼ cup flour Cooked rice Fresh chopped parsley
Cook the carrots in the broth until tender, chop coarsely after cooked, reserve broth Dice chicken or turkey
Sauté mushrooms in a bit of the butter
Make a sauce by first making a roux. I do this in the microwave and it is SO easy! Melt the butter then add the flour, the broth and salt, pepper, cayanne, and nutmeg to taste.the half & half and cook on high for 2 – 3 minutes, whisk, cook another 2 – 3 minutes, whisk … until it boils. Add extra broth concentrate if more flavor needed. Add salt, pepper, cayanne and nutmeg to taste.
Throw in the carrots, mushrooms and chicken
Serve over cooked rice with a good heap of minced parsley.