Chicken a la King

Is Chicken a la King a popular thing? I have no idea. It’s something I’ve honestly never heard of until recently and then it felt like every TV show I watched mentioned it somehow. The most recent TV show was the show “Barry”. Which, if you have seen you need to watch immediately, is hilarious and dark and really well written. But Henry Winkler is in it and he’s an aged movie star (kind of a washed up has been) and he goes to the same Hollywood-old school era restaurant with dark lighting and red curtains and every time he orders Chicken a la King.

So I googled it. I’d heard it so many times now I was like, what is this dish?! Basically it seems like it’s a chicken pot pie without the pot pie part?

I had most of the ingredients on hand. I had to buy some pasta because we don’t really have that in abundance (keto and all that). I used some boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which were nice. I am not a mushroom fan at all but I did not hate them in this dish!

I used this recipe. It was a pretty good recipe, no weird ingredients, straight forward and easy to follow. Here it is:

INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp. butter

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. milk

1 c. low-sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 (4-oz.) jar pimentos, drained and chopped

1/2 c. frozen peas

2 c. cooked and cubed chicken

Cooked pasta, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add flour and stir to coat mushrooms, then add milk and broth slowly and whisk until no lumps remain. Simmer until sauce is thickened, 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.
  2. Add pimentos, peas, and chicken and cook until warmed through, 5 minutes.
  3. Serve over cooked pasta.

I topped the pasta dish with a little parmesan cheese. Overall it was very good. We both liked it all. Next time I would add more garlic than just the 2 cloves. Always double it. 😀

Having not had pasta much in a long time (years), this was very good. According to the recipe you can have it with rice or pasta. I bet you can easily make it keto/low carb and use cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash and it would be delicious too.

P.S. We had the leftovers the next day over cauliflower rice and it was excellent!

Sourdough

Who knew sourdough bread was so hard??? I’ve tried it about half a dozen times or more since the first time I tried it. The first time I tried it, it was flat. The second time the dough didn’t rise for some reason. One time it didn’t look very good but it had the right sour flavor. Then another time it looked great and had the right flavor but it was a little underdone. I’ve baked it in my dutch oven and on our baking stone, with varied results.

I keep trying and reading and trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Recently I did another loaf and tried a different baking method. This is the method I used this time:

The result was pretty good. The rise was nice, there was a great color, the crust was crunchy, it was baked well (maybe slightly overdone) but not sour. UGH! So frustrating. But it did LOOK pretty:

I talked to a friend who does sourdough on the regular and she said that she puts the starter on her counter the day before and feeds it twice, once the morning before she makes it, then again that night. She said that will make it more sour. So next time, I’m going to try doing it that way and see what happens.

This week I tried again and did a few things differently. First, I weighed the flour when I made the dough and used grams instead of measuring cups. Second, I took my friend’s advice and took the starter out the day before, fed it twice and then made the dough the next morning. Third, I followed the new baking instructions.

The result was great! The bread was a little on the light side color-wise but the inside was fantastic! It was the best loaf I’ve made so far. It didn’t have a super strong sour flavor but the bread was light and airy and fluffy instead of being dense. I was really, really happy with the results.

For dinner, I made tomato bisque and we had the freshly baked bread with it. Fantastic!

On a similar note, I’ve been obsessed with the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. It never appealed to me but for some reason I saw a random episode of the new season and I decided to start at the beginning. I loved it! That first season was great and had some really good bakers.

I also love that you learn a lot from the show. They make stuff I’ve never heard of before and it’s interesting to see the methods. I also like that they do a bread episode each season! Listening to the judges critique the breads has been helpful for me recognizing some of the mistakes I’ve been making (not letting it proof long enough, not kneading it enough, etc). Also, it’s nice to watch the show while I wait for Top Chef to come back!

QUESTION: Are you a sourdough baker? Any tips or favorite recipes?