This recipe is an ideal way to use up leftover roasted chicken. Or, use our simple Quick Cooked Chicken method, which doesn?t require poaching liquid and roasts the chicken in the oven while you prepare the other ingredients. Chicken a la King was on the menu at the old Delmonico as well as on the Emeril?s Delmonico menu when the restaurant initially reopened. The old staff served it on toast with either a side of buttered beets and green peas, or with French fries. The popularity of the dish at Delmonico Restaurant?s New Orleans site is only fitting, as some accounts attribute the creation of Chicken a la King to the illustrious original Delmonico in New York, in the 1890s. Chicken a la King is a rich dish and this recipe makes a generous four cups; depending upon your appetite, you?ll probably have leftovers.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 large egg yolks
Quick Cooked Chicken, diced, recipe follows, or 2 1/2 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken
1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Herb Biscuits, recipe follows, split in 1/2
Combine the milk and cream and heat to a simmer. Cover to keep hot.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers and cook until the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the sherry and cook until nearly all evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the heated milk and cream and stir. Add the chicken stock, return to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the tarragon, salt, and pepper and stir well to incorporate. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until pale yellow and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot sauce to the yolks, whisking constantly. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture to the remaining sauce, stirring until well blended. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry, stir well, and return to medium heat. Fold in the chicken, parsley, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, arrange 2 biscuit halves on each of 4 large plates. Spoon 1/4 cup of the sauce over each half and serve immediately.
Quick Cooked Chicken:
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the chopped vegetables in the center of a large piece of heavy aluminum foil.
Lightly season the chicken breasts on both sides with the salt and pepper and place on top of the vegetables. Fold over the sides of the aluminum foil to tightly seal, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes, depending upon the size of the breasts.
Carefully unwrap the foil packet and let sit until the chicken is cool enough to shred or dice.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk together the buttermilk and herbs in a small bowl, add to the dry ingredients, and blend just until the dough is moist and pliable, being careful not to overwork.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and using floured hands, pat into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut into rounds, gathering, re-patting, and cutting the dough scraps until all the dough is used.
Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until the biscuits are set and the tops are light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 6 (3-inch) biscuits