As you can probably tell by my clean, unstained apron, I don’t cook much.
The mention of cast iron cookware, phyllo dough, and dutch ovens typically makes my stomach do that flippy thing it does after the first big hill on a roller coaster. However, as a recent college grad assimilating to life in the “real world”, I’ve been forced to accept the fact that there is more than one food group. (In my defense, let it not go unnoticed that my go to college staple, Ramen noodles, does indeed fall under a pretty significant part of the food pyramid.)
I suppose it goes without saying that many a day in the dorm was spent with takeout, or something microwaved- and trust me, quite a microwave-r I became!
That said, my forays in the kitchen have been timid, like a first date, slowly courting the idea of vegetables and proteins, and then finally admitting to myself that maybe- just maybe- a romantic spark was there after all:
My mom’s Chicken à la King is one of my most savored mealtime memories. You see, for every birthday as long as I can remember, this meal has been a guest at our dinner table, marking each new milestone from my first grade, to my first car. So why not let it anoint the first pages of my recipe repertoire? It’s a comforting dish, warm with a smooth cream sauce that perfectly compliments bite-sized bits of chicken. Yes, there are even peas!
So while my adventures in the kitchen have only just begun, this meal has instilled a newfound culinary confidence in me with the promise of many more in the future.
And don’t worry- it tastes great microwaved, too.
Confident Chicken à la King
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (more or less for taste)
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 to 3 cups water, depending on desired consistency
3 chicken breasts, boned, cooked, and cubed
2 tablespoons cooking sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green peas, cooked
2 6-oz. boxes rice, cooked
In a large skillet, heat butter. Add mushrooms and saute until tender over medium heat- only a few minutes. When mushrooms are finished, add flour to the skillet. Slowly stir in the whipping cream and water. The consistency of the sauce can be altered by adding more or less water. Stir constantly until the sauce is thickened.
Add chicken, and heat the mixture until boiling. Cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add sherry, still stirring, as well salt and pepper to taste. Again, more or less sherry can be used.
Lastly, stir in the peas and serve over rice.