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Chicken a la King - question

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I will be making the dish this weekend.....haven't done so in many years. Is there any seasoning or ingredient that will add taste to this. I seem to remember it can be bland....some recipes call for a bit of dry sherry which I'll use....but anything else?? I wondered about adding some cranberries for colour and seasonal touch?? Serving with basmati rice, green beans and grilled tomato halves. Thanks!!!

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  1. My mom used to make it during the holidays and always added red and green peppers for the seasonal touch. Or red peppers and a healthy dose of good fresh chopped italian parsley added at the end.

    3 Replies
    1. re: elayne5

      Thanks....I think the parley will certainly add extra flavour I'm looking for!!

      1. re: elayne5

        Yes... this is what I was going to add as well. Then you could always add a dash or two of a wonderful hot pepper sauce. Not so much that would have your guests running out in the snow, though.

        1. re: Gio

          My thoughts exactly - just enough Tabasco to give it the "extra something," but no one can tell what. It doesn't taste like spiced-up chicken a la king, just more like chicken a la king "should" taste.

      2. The mention of basmati rice suggests a light touch with curry powder in the chicken sauce. It would, though, turn it a light yellow, not anything red or green.

        1. My grandmother used to make this with pimentos and green peas added to the cream sauce. She would serve it in those Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells, with rice on the side. That was one of the few things she knew how to make well!
          Add a few dashes of Tabasco to the cream sauce and it will perk up the flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mschow

            Ditto the pimentos and peas with pastry shells...now I want some!

          2. Red peppers or pimentos for sure. I like to add some good mushroom flavor with crimini, shitaki or other flavorful mushrooms. Dried porcini mushrooms are good too and you can use the soaking liquid in the bechamel base.

            I find that rice tends to dilute the flavors in Chicken a la King. I mean, I make the sauce and adjust the seasoning just right then when I serve it over the rice the flavor is diluted quite a lot. I like the Pepperidge Farm Vol a Vant (sp?) idea. The puff pastry compliments the dish better than rice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JockY

              Thanks for the tips.....I will go with the parsley...a slight hint of curry....Tabasco if it needs.....a little sherry....red peppers...and oh yes, it's definitely going "over" the puff pastry shells....rice on the side. As you can tell, I'll make it up as I go along - just want to make sure the bechamel isn't bleh....and also I have the puff pastry crowns to top it off and am going to decorate with a dob of cranberry chutney on top of each.

              1. re: LoN

                Cranberry chutney on top! What a great idea. I made some cranberry, pear and ginger chutney fron November's Bon Appetite (all gone now) which would have worked. A good excuse to make more :-)

              1. re: DockPotato

                I would ditto this. Actually what I use to perk things up a bit is one of the following"
                poultry seasoning (I like Bell's)
                Pumpkin pie spice
                apple pie spice

                Just a dash can really give it a little something extra & is not overpowering at all.
                Of course, I add more than a dash because I can. And some cayenne.