Chicken a la king is a classic old fashioned dish, kind of like a deconstructed chicken pot pie, without the crust and switching up some of the veggies. I remember my mom making it for dinner on cold winter nights, served over rice, and its true soul-warming power.
My version of chicken a la king includes multi-colored peppers and pancetta which add flavor and decadence without weighing down the meal. The flaky biscuits remind me of classic Pillsbury Grands!, but are super easy to make and quite rewarding. Choose chicken a la king on a chilly night when the sun has set at 5pm and all you want is to be comfy and relaxed.
for the biscuits
- 1 cup half and half or milk
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, sliced
for the chicken and sauce
- 2 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into ½ inch sized-pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound of baby bella cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 shallot
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- ½ cup flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 ¼ cups chicken stock
Pour half and half into a measuring cup or glass jar and add vinegar. Let sit. This will curdle it to create buttermilk.
Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse 3 times. Add the sliced butter to the food processor and pulse 6-10 times until the butter is the size of peas. Pour into a bowl and add the buttermilk. Mix until the dough is combined.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface then flatten it, using a rolling pin or your hands, to about 1 inch thick. Fold one side over the other side. Flatten again and fold again. Do this 2 more times then fold again and wrap the folded dough in plastic wrap without flattening. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into squares using a cutter or a knife. Bake until golden, 20-22 minutes.
chicken and sauce steps
Season the chopped chicken with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. In a large pan, cook the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until the mushrooms have shrunk in size and browned, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, core and cut the peppers in half and place skin-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 425°F (I recommend you do this simultaneously as you bake the biscuits) for about 10 minutes.
When the mushrooms have browned, add 4 ounces of diced pancetta to the pan. Cook together for 5 minutes until the pancetta begins to crisp but is still chewy and not totally crispy.
Remove the peppers from the oven and dice. Add to the mushrooms and pancetta and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 2 minutes until the flour begins to bubble. Add the milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Once the sauce has reached a boil, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes until sauce thickens. It is during this that the chicken will cook. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.