HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Canned Chicken ala' King? [moved from the South board]

After watching Top Chef the other night, I was reminded of a favorite childhood dish. We used to heat up canned chicken ala' king over toast. It was made by Swanson and came in a can that looked very similar to their chicken broth. I've looked for it around VA Beach but can't seem to find it. Does Swanson still make it? I know some people would turn up their nose at this but I really did enjoy it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Oh wow, I haven't thought about that in years. My mom would either put it on toast or buy those crunchy little noodles and put it over those. She would do the Swanson chicken chow mein the same way. I'll have to look next time I'm at the grocery store.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Suzy Q

      My mom worked in a department store, so would often not get home until 9pm, so dad would cook after work. Swanson Chicken a la King was in his repertoire, either over toast or rice. I loved it.

      1. re: MsDiPesto

        Does anyone know if Swanson still makes it? Where can I find it?

        1. re: nathanac

          http://www.netgrocer.com carries it. I did a search for Swanson and it is about eight items down.

          UPC # is 051000024022

          Cost at netgrocer is $2.05 for the 10.5 oz can.

          Safeway on-line does not show it available in the SF Bay Area.

          Now I think I want try it too.

          1. re: svsuv

            Try looking in the freezer section. We used to get it frozen, in those boil-in-bag thingees.

            1. re: breadbox

              That's how I remember it too, but can't remember if it was Swansons, these seem to have totally disappeared (boil in bag entrees) Though I love the old Joy of Cooking recipe that uses a traditional white sauce with a touch of sherry and egg yolk.

              1. re: archangelcat

                Stoffer's had it in the frozen section, and I used to love it, but it's no longer available in the SF Bay Area. Darn!

        2. re: MsDiPesto

          And exactly 1 year later .... <g> I've been trying to find Swanson Chicken ala King in the grocery store for years! I also loved it over toast or rice. I was beginning to believe that Swanson just discontinued it. I never thought of the possibility of buying it by the case online (buythecase.net has it for $23.88 for 12 cans). This is great! Talk about "comfort food" I've missed!!! I worked in my dad's upholstery shop while I was going to college. We would go home for lunch and heat up a can of chicken ala king sometimes - diluting it with milk so we could each get two pieces of toast. That was over 25 years ago. Lately, I've been craving it. So perhaps it's time to order a case ;)

      2. Ralphs in Long Beach, Ca has it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Oh Robin

          I just went looking today and found a frozen one made by Stouffers...although they have rice in it and I don't remember the dish ever having rice.

        2. Just saw this at the Stop n Shop in Glendale, Queens, NY. $1.89.

          1. I went to www.swansonbroth.com/ and hit contact, told them I wanted to find a place to buy Swanson Chicken A La' King and gave them my address and email and they replied the same day and told me all the stores that sold Swanson Chicken A La' King in my area. I hope this helps.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sarnold49

              Thank you so much - I have been thinking about the canned Chicken Ala King for the past couple of weeks - in fact I tried a brand sold with rice and it just wasn't the same. It didn't have the pimentos in it that I remembered. I went to Swanson's site as you suggested and hopefully I will hear from them soon. Again thatnks for bringing back some great memories :)

            2. YES! My mom used to get this stuff in a pouch back in the 80's. Pour it over some nice white toast...mmmmmm...the yummy tast of partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat)...yet they had to retro this bad mamma jamma..check this out:
              http://campbells.netgrocer.com/shop.a...
              and yes sir'E...I did whip some of some of this wonderful canned flashback for my own daughter...and she loved it....yet this time it has no part. hydro. oil, and I slathered it over multi grain bread....HOPE YOU ENJOY AS MUCH AS WE DO!

              1 Reply
              1. re: trixsan

                I went to the website you linked and wanted to make a note that it is no longer listed there. A little over a year later and it's gone. It's so sad seeing this wonderful food slowly disappear.

              2. I'm 60, and I remember the chicken fricassee being even better as a kid, cuz it didn't have mushrooms in it. I put it over toast too. They stopped making that product a long time ago. I was still able to buy the chicken ala king at Kmart until a few-plus yrs ago. When they remodeled their pantry it disappeared and I've never seen it anywhere else. And actually I thought the brand was College Inn, not Swanson, but I could be wrong. Do you remember that College Inn 'egg noodles & chicken' in a jar? That was another one of my childhood favorites. I was surprised to just read that Del Monte now owns College Inn. On this link there is a very old pix of College Inn chicken ala king. Of course that doesn't mean that YOU didn't eat Swansons.
                http://www.leitesculinaria.com/writin...
                Now my tastebuds are crying for another taste. I must find it!! LOL Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :-)

                1. OMG! I have been craving Swanson canned Chicken Ala King over buttered toast for weeks now and on whim I just did a search and found this. Nice to see I'm not alone!
                  I just ordered 8 cans from net grocer...thanks for the info!

                  1. Oh, yes! Inspired by this thread, I was delighted to find some at HEB Plus. It's still delicious over toast points, just like my mother used to make, but now I'm a grownup and she can't make me eat it with LeSeur Peas. =)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: marthasway

                      Now to find some frozen Howard Johnson's Chicken Croquettes. =o)

                    2. I used to eat it for lunch with lots of Tabasco sauce and garlic added for extra flavor and put it over toast. It was good!

                      1. Sure. There was a thread about this a while back. It's still sold, and makes a quite tasty dish over toast when you're in a hurry.

                        1. It is in our grocery store - either in the soup aisle or canned meats section. It is now owned by Campbell Soup, but kept Swanson Chicken ala King name.

                          1. www.buythecase.net/product/35/swanson... - 12k - this was one place to find it. You might be-able to request it at your local Wal-mart I found some there in Mesa, AZ I bought the whole display, all but 2 cans. This was almost a year ago. Although it might be comforting knowing it was there.

                            1. I found this thread googling for "Where to buy Chicken Ala' King" it is really nice knowing other people also have fond memories of this. I guess it really is kinda a poor person's meal or just a simple quick meal. My grandmother use to make it over white rice. I remember adding a lot of salt (which I do to a lot of foods mind you) and devouring every last bit. I even scraped the plate clean! I am nearly 21 now. A few years back my grandfather and I went hunting for it and found in at a little Saveway store. I'm pregnant now and I would give anything if I had a can. Heck I would eat it plain out of the can. It was always such a treat to get for dinner when I was little. I remember waiting for it to be ready and smelling that delicious smell coming in from the kitchen.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: allmommytalk

                                Me too..though I still don't know where to find it. Once in a while it shows up..one of my kids asked for it the other day (he's 30), and all I could find was the Stouffer's. It's really close, though if you like it over toast..or those really inexpensive buttermilk biscuits in the can..the rice that's included gets in the way. My son enjoyed it though, over toast (rice and all) and introduced it to his 2 and 3yr old girls. I love being able to recreate tastes from years ago..hope I can find a few cans one day soon. I'll try asking Wal-Mart to order for me..

                                One little note...we left SoCal for a farm in NC about 15 years ago, and still miss the food and shopping. Most missed fast food..ElPollo Loco.

                                1. re: momonwheels

                                  OMG I moved to Colorado from HB, Ca back in 1991, and everytime I go back to visit (or to Las Vegas to visit my boyfriend's family) we HAVE to go to El Pollo Loco...it's a required stop during my trip.

                                  As for the Swanson Chicken a la King, I cant seem to find it in stores here in Denver either, so I was hoping maybe someone has a recipe that can remotely compare to the flavor?? I've been craving it lately; I usually just pour the can into a bowl and eat it like soup, dunking buttered sourdough bread in it...YUM. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Any thoughts on the recipe, folks?? :)

                                  Thanks!

                                2. re: allmommytalk

                                  I found this website after my local grocer could not get it for me through the store. It is not listed on the Swanson website, but this is the same product that we used to love so much over toast.
                                  www.buythecase.net/product/35/swanson...

                                3. If you know anyone in the service, you can get a very nice version of it in MREs. The brown pouch is a bit off-putting, but the flavor is way better than the old canned stuff. Seriously--it's tasty. I don't know how our boys n gals over in the desert now would rank it vs. some of the other meals, but I always thought it was good.

                                  1. If you can't find it, there are a number of recipes on line that are almost as easy. Just need some chicken, some cream of mushroom and/or cream of chicken soup, thin with milk and/or chicken broth to desired consistency. If desired add pimento, mushroom, a splash of sherry, and maybe some white pepper. That's sort of a compilation of the various recipes I found. Mix it all together, zap it or heat it on the stove. Of course there are also recipes for the "real thing" making white sauce, etc. Unquestionably better, and if you are an accomplished cook with a well stocked pantry, probably not a lot more work - at least people tell me a white sauce is simple.

                                    1. I bought two cans a couple of weeks ago of Swanson's canned variety in a Giant grocery store in Northern VA. I heated one can in a saucepan, and added a few things from my spice rack to make it a little more interesting, then poured it over a serving of that frozen pre-cooked Jasmine Rice from Trader Joe's.....it's still good!

                                      1. I have found it locally at Harris Teeter and sometimes at Wal-mart and Bi-low's. I'm in rock Hill,SC

                                        1. My husband has been craving this for weeks, and all I can find is the frozen version, which he ate, but which did nothing to satisfy his craving for the original canned version he remembers so fondly. I am so glad to see there are others that remember this and are looking for it, as well. I will try to find it on the bythecase website mentioned - I'd buy a whole case just to get him the comforting food he is craving.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: foxys

                                            It's been a very long time since I've seen the canned Chix ala King in the USA but it is still produced by Campbell's Soup Canada in their Chunky Soup line. We live in the USA but because we live so close to the USA/Canada border we usually pick up a can or two when we do a shopping trip north of the border.

                                          2. I too DISTINCTLY remember "College Inn Whole Chicken" in a can. Every Wednesday evening, after bowling, I would stay over at my "Nana"'s house and she would make the chicken in the can; my Uncle who just passed away used to bust my chops about it; it tasted SO GOOD and just fell off the bone-tender as buttuh!! Anyway, now my family doesn't believe me and I have nothing to show for proof!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Henthorne

                                              It's been used in Chopped as a basket ingredient, much to the dismay of the chefs.

                                            2. Haven't tried the Swanson (yet), but did discover it at a local high-end grocery store in MN (Lunds/Byerlys). Price is $1.67 per can in Sept 2014. I like them because they have a local delivery service if anyone wants to use it ($10).

                                              http://shop.mywebgrocer.com/shop.aspx...

                                              Search for "a la king" (no quotes) and it comes right up.

                                              Can also be ordered from Walmart--but there is a minimum order PLUS shipping charges as well, so buy in-store if reasonable to do so.

                                              delivery.walmart.com

                                              To order online (shipping is EXTRA). Not everything is available, but it does help if you live away from stores or can't drive.

                                              Create an account so you can buy stuff. Then search for the product. $1.44/can + shipping. Not bad.

                                              I have discovered a variety of items are becoming available through Walmart that used to be unavailable through other means other than online sources (buythecase.net went out of business, as have other online sources for a variety of other products I used to buy).

                                              Amazon has it also, but $35 minimum for free shipping or you have Amazon Prime.