Are you familiar with chicken a la king? As far as I can tell, it's pretty much chicken pot pie without the pie crust, served over some other form of carbohydrates, be it a biscuit, rice, or plain ol' white bread.*
*At my restaurant, we have it as a brunch item served over a waffle and with bacon crumbled on top--it's amazing!
Like pot pie, you can add whatever veggies you like--I chose peas, carrots, pearl onions, and celery. I love peas. You can also season it with whatever herbs and spices make you happy; for me, thyme is on my side. (Yes, it is.) Another great thing about this dish is that you can use up leftover chicken that's been poached, baked, or boiled, and shredded, chunked, or cubed. How you serve it is up to you, too. What I had on hand for this batch and what ended up in the photos were some simple fluffy rolls. Like I said above, anything works, even waffles.
See--there's plenty of room for personalization with this dish, and that's always a good thing.
Chicken a la Queen
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
- 1 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup pearl onions
- 4 cups 1-inch cubed poached chicken
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil while stirring. Add the thyme sprigs, lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the carrots and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce into the veggies and season with the salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Whisk in the milk or cream.
Add the peas, pearl onions, and chicken to the sauce, and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve over bread of some form or rice.