Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grandma B's Chicken A La King

This is Chris favorite meal...especially in the winter but probably in the whole wide world (OK...chicken tenders MIGHT rival this for him).  It is a recipe he enjoyed as a small child through both his maternal grandmother, mother, and now I'm adding my twist to an old favorite.

Lately his mom has been issues getting the sauce thick enough.  The original recipe calls for shaking together a simple mixture of flour and cold water then adding to the chicken mix and boiling.  I decided to deviate a little from the recipe (*gasp*!) and take inspiration from the Ham and Potato Soup recipe to make sure my sauce got nice and thick as well as lend it a creamy, buttery flavor.  I also tried my hand at making homemade biscuits.  His mom always serves this on top of freshly baked Pillsbury Grands biscuits but leave it to me to try something from scratch.

I was pleased with the way that this turned out and Chris gave it his stamp of approval.

Are you a Grandma B food fan?  If so, you might want to check out some of these recipes, too! (and these are just the ones I've made and posted so far...she kept an entire stenograph notebook full of recipes!)
Grandma B's Chicken A La King
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Ingredients
  • 2 large bone-in chicken breasts
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 chicken buillion cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Biscuits, baked (Chris' mom always uses Pillsbury Grands, I tried Homemade Cream Biscuits)
Directions
  1. Rinse chicken breasts well under cold running water.  Pat dry then coat in a thin layer of flour.
  2. In a large pot, coat bottom of pan with vegetable oil.  Brown chicken breasts on both sides.  Remove them from the pot and drain remaining grease from pan.
  3. Put the chicken back in the pot and add enough water to cover the chicken.  Let cook over medium heat until chicken is no longer pink (about 30 minutes).  Remove chicken from the pot and put on a plate to cool.  Once chicken has cooled, cut or shred into medium sized pieces.  Skim off grease and fat from top of water.
  4. Add chicken pieces, onion, celery, and carrots back into the pot.  Add bullion cubes and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, in a small pot melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add flour and whisk together until incorporated (consistency will be like a thick cookie dough).  Remove 1/2 cup of broth from the large pot and and slowly add it to the roux mixture, whisking until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken (like gravy).  Turn off heat and then add this mixture to the large pot.  Stir until combined and if needed, add more roux to thicken more.
  6. Serve hot chicken mixture over biscuits.
Source: Modified from Grandma B. (Chris' Grandmother)

2 comments:

Sara said...

I had trouble getting the sauce thick, using your recipe. Once I put in the 4th tbsp of flour the butter mixture became very thick and stayed that way even after adding the broth. Maybe I had the heat too high, that's about the only thing I can think of.
It was still delicious and will definitely make again!

Christine said...

Hi Sara,

Thanks for trying this recipe and leaving feedback. I'm happy that you enjoyed it enough to make again despite the thickening issues.

The butter flour mixture alone should be very thick (kind of like cookie dough). When you add the broth and whisk it, it will be lumpy at first but as it boils it will turn into a thick and smooth gravy consistency. After you add it back to the large pot, if you find it's still not thick enough, you can always mix together more roux until it is to your desired consistency. Another way to thicken is to remove more broth from the large pot to begin with and keep for another recipe. The initial amount of water is a bit inprecise since it depends on the size of your chicken!

Hope that helps...