Chicken a la King 8.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Make It, Freeze It, Take It Oct 14, 2009

Done right, this updated dish could make a comeback; it's a perfect application for leftover chicken.

Serve over rice, puff pastry shells or toast.

Make Ahead: Freeze individual servings of the cooled chicken a la king in freezer-safe resealable plastic food storage bags; seal with as much air out of the bag as possible. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Servings: 8
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • Hot water
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 whole chicken breasts, poached, cooled, then skinned, deboned and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups; may substitute 4 cups diced cooked chicken)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or amontillado sherry
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs tarragon, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • Leaves from 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, minced (1 tablespoon)


Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a medium bowl; add hot water to cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove the reconstituted mushrooms from the water and squeeze over the bowl.

Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth, then strain the mushrooms' soaking water, reserving 1/2 cup. Rinse the reconstituted mushrooms.

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it has melted, add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms have softened.

Add the salt and the reconstituted mushrooms and cook for a minute or two, stirring, then add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute until well blended. Whisk in the broth, the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring, until smooth and thick; there should be no lingering raw flour taste. Season with the pepper to taste; add salt as needed.

Add the chicken and peas; stir to combine and just heat through.

Shortly before serving, beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the cream. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce from the saucepan into the mixture; when it is incorporated, add the egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the sauce get too hot or start to bubble at the edges (or the eggs might curdle).

Add 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, the sherry, tarragon and parsley. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve over rice, puff pastry shells or toast.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "New Classic Family Dinners," by Mark Peel with Martha Rose Shulman (Wiley, 2009).

Tested by Christopher Stanford.

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