Chicken a la King

This recipe irritated the doogles out of me. My email to Chris after reading through this recipe and ingredient list was ” I mean, REALLY?! I’m supposed to make this on a week night? I’m going over your recipe choices from now on.” I think he got the point. I was less than thrilled when I realized I needed half of Kroger to make this. The dish was basically The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken and Biscuits with a fraction of the fat, calories, and cost.

The final product was much better than the process. I was less than thrilled at spending more time than usual in the kitchen but after all the initial prep I let the chicken sit with the sauce for an hour to help infuse the flavors.

For the broth I used a purple onion since I had it on hand and some dried thyme. The parsley was fresh and I added seven chicken bouillon cubes as a broth starter.

So…things got messy. After letting the chicken sit in the hot broth for half an hour I got the brilliant idea to Ninja the goodness for my sauce broth. I didn’t factor in two things: 1. there’s a lot of broth and 2. the broth is hot. I made a chicken sauce explosion and K ran around the island yelling “What happened, Mama? What happened? Oh no!!!” I was both embarrassed and angry at the mess I had to clean up but I let her drink a few sips of broth to hold her over and wonder why her dear mother was near tears over spilled “smoothie” as she called it.

I used store bought biscuits to serve alongside because there was no way I was even going to consider making my own from scratch. Between slicing the top part of my finger and using most of our rags to clean up my “smoothie” spill I was ready for a glass of wine. Speaking of which…

Ingredients
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 3/4 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
6 sprigs plus 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher 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 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
4 cups 1-inch cubed poached chicken, recipe follows
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Serving suggestions: Buttered noodles, toast points, biscuits, or crepes
Directions
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of the butter, and saute the shallots until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sherry and broth and bring to a boil while stirring. Add the parsley and 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 mushrooms until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce into mushrooms and season with the salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Whisk in the creme fraiche.
Add the minced parsley, chicken, and chives to the sauce, and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately over noodles, toast points, split baking powder biscuits or wrapped in crepes.
POACHED CHICKEN
10 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small onion, halved
1 small carrot, halved
1 stalk celery, halved
3 pounds chicken breasts halves, on the bone and fat trimmed
5 to 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
Put the parsley, thyme, onion, carrot, celery, and chicken breasts in a medium saucepan. Cover with the broth, and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and cover. Poach the chicken for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover, and cool the chicken in the liquid for 30 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Bone and skin the chicken and cut the meat into cubes. Discard the bones and skin.
Strain the broth and store, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for later use. Remove any fat from the surface of the broth before using.

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