Chicken à la King

From The Blog

Welcome to a culinary time capsule, where we’re reviving the classic Chicken à la King recipe, a dish that holds a special place in the hearts of those who remember the flavors of yesteryear. This recipe, a hallmark of American comfort food, has evolved through decades but remains a beloved staple. Let’s embark on a flavorful journey back in time, exploring the origins and evolution of this iconic dish.

The Royal Origins of Chicken à la King

The history of Chicken à la King is as rich and varied as its ingredients. While there are multiple claims to its creation, ranging from Delmonico’s chef Charles Ranhofer in the 1880s to the Bellevue Hotel’s William “Bill” King in the 1890s, this dish’s origins are shrouded in mystery and allure. Early published recipes date back to the early 1900s, marking it as a dish of elegance and sophistication.

Tip: To capture the essence of this historical dish, focus on using fresh, quality ingredients and take your time to enjoy the cooking process.

As the dish gained popularity in the mid-20th century, it became a symbol of upscale dining in America, often featured in fancy weddings and parties. Its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and the subtle kick of sherry became synonymous with comfort and luxury.

A Nostalgic Recipe for Modern Palates

While the original recipe has undergone many iterations, its core remains the same: diced chicken in a creamy sauce, flavored with sherry, mushrooms, and vegetables. Modern adaptations have made it more accessible for home cooks, with variations including lighter versions omitting egg yolks and cream for a healthier twist.

Tip: Experiment with different bases for serving, such as rice, pasta, or even toast, to add your personal touch to this timeless recipe.

The versatility of Chicken à la King is one of its most charming attributes. Whether you’re looking to recreate the classic version or adapt it to fit your dietary preferences, this dish is wonderfully accommodating. From swapping chicken with tuna for a Tuna à la King twist to using alternative cooking methods like boiling or baking the chicken, the possibilities are endless.

Cooking Chicken à la King: A Step Back in Time

Preparing Chicken à la King is like taking a step back in time. The process involves poaching chicken for tenderness, sautéing mushrooms and vegetables for depth of flavor, and creating a rich, creamy sauce spiked with sherry. The final touch, a dash of cayenne or lemon juice, adds a hint of zesty sophistication to this classic dish.

Tip: For an authentic touch, consider using a cast-iron skillet for cooking, which adds a depth of flavor to the dish.

As we explore the history and nuances of this recipe, it’s clear why Chicken à la King has endured through the ages. It’s more than just a dish; it’s a story of culinary evolution, a testament to the timeless appeal of comfort food.

In conclusion, Chicken à la King is not just a recipe; it’s a slice of culinary history. For those born before 1972, it’s a nostalgic reminder of the past. For others, it’s an opportunity to connect with a bygone era through taste. This dish is a perfect example of how recipes can be more than just instructions for preparing food; they can be carriers of history, tradition, and memories. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious cook, Chicken à la King is a recipe that deserves a place in your kitchen and your heart.

Classic Chicken à la King

Course: DinnerCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





A timeless recipe that brings the nostalgia of the 70s right to your dinner table, featuring a creamy, sherry-spiked sauce with tender chicken and mushrooms.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup of dry sherry

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Poach the chicken breasts in water or chicken broth until fully cooked. Once done, dice them into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms and green pepper until tender.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  • Gradually add the heavy cream and sherry, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.
  • Add the diced chicken to the sauce and heat through. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve hot over rice, pasta, or toast.


  • Adjust the amount of sherry and lemon juice to suit your taste.
  • For a lighter version, substitute the heavy cream with half-and-half or a mix of milk and cream.
  • The dish can be refrigerated for up to 2 days and reheated gently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a different type of meat instead of chicken?
A: Absolutely! Turkey is a great alternative and stays true to the original recipe. You can also experiment with tuna for a Tuna à la King variation.

Q: Is it possible to make Chicken à la King in advance?
A: Yes, you can prepare it a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently before serving to maintain the texture and flavor.

Q: Can I freeze Chicken à la King?
A: It’s best enjoyed fresh due to the cream-based sauce, but if necessary, you can freeze it for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently.

Q: Are there any dairy-free alternatives for this recipe?
A: For a dairy-free version, use a plant-based cream or milk alternative and a dairy-free butter substitute. Keep in mind that this might slightly alter the traditional flavor.

Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson
Hey there! I'm Jamie Anderson. Born and raised in the heart of New York City, I've always had this crazy love for food and the stories behind it. I like to share everything from those "Aha!" cooking moments to deeper dives into what's really happening in the food world. Whether you're here for a trip down culinary memory lane, some kitchen hacks, or just curious about your favorite eateries, I hope you find something delightful!

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