Quick & Comforting Chicken à la King

It’s time to add some flair to your weeknight chicken routine. Golden-brown bites of tender chicken are nestled in a sherry-spiked sauce with savory sautéed mushrooms and colorful peppers. It’s a meal fit for royalty, but you won’t need a kitchen full of cooks to get dinner on the table.

What Is Chicken à la King?

History dates this dish of chicken in creamy fortified wine sauce to the late 19th or early 20th century, and it may have actually had a stronger connection to the owner of a hotel than nobility. As decades passed, the homemade cream sauce was often replaced with a can of condensed soup.

But settling for a canned cream sauce is not the only way to make Chicken à la King a weeknight winner. Instead, brown quick-cooking bite-sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and choose a bag of frozen pepper stir-fry mix — which needs no knife work and thaws in mere minutes in a skillet — rather than fresh bell peppers and onions. Still pressed for time? Substitute cubed rotisserie chicken and start the recipe at the step of sautéing the mushrooms.

Kitchn Daily

If you’ve ever made gravy or homemade mac and cheese, you already know the basics of making a cream sauce. Sprinkle some flour over the buttery browned mushrooms and peppers and cook to remove the raw taste — it only takes a minute. Heavy cream gives the sauce a rich, velvety texture while sherry — a fortified wine — adds an elegant flavor to the sauce. Make sure to serve the dish over egg noodles, rice, or biscuits to soak up the deliciously creamy sauce.

Read more: Why I Always Have a Bottle of Sherry in My Kitchen

Chicken à la King

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons

    chopped fresh parsley leaves

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 cups

    frozen sliced bell peppers and onions

  • 3 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    half-and-half or whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon

    medium dry sherry

  • Cooked biscuits, rice, or egg noodles, for serving

Instructions

  1. Quarter 8 ounces cremini mushrooms and finely chop 2 tablespoons parsley leaves; set both aside. Cut 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 10-inch or larger skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

  3. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 cups frozen sliced bell peppers and onions, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables are thawed and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons flour over the vegetables, stir to coat, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk and 1 tablespoon sherry until smooth and no lumps of flour remain. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve over biscuits, rice, or egg noodles and sprinkle with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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