Chicken à la King seems to have been a favourite of the British Raj in India, perhaps because all the ingredients were available here, and the flavour, though rich, is bland. I have come across various recipes using egg yolk, wine, etc., but adding wine somehow gives a fermented flavour, which we Indians regard as the beginning of spoilage. Therefore, I searched for a recipe which was simple and, at the same time, wholesome. I found one in Children’s Party Cooking. Of course I had to tweak the recipe to suit the Indian palate and the ingredients available.
My modifications include altering the proportion of chicken to mushrooms to avoid wasting mushrooms, which usually come in 200 g packages, and using red and yellow capsicum to add colour to the dish, which otherwise looks as bland as it tastes 🙂
The chicken provides 26 g of high quality protein per 100 g, and the capsicum provides carotene and vitamin C. The flour, oil, milk, and cream together provide a large amount of energy.
- 750 g Chicken, skinned and curry cut
- 2 Onions, diced
- 1 large Green Capsicum, deseeded and sliced
- 1 Red Capsicum, deseeded and sliced
- 1 Yellow Capsicum, deseeded and sliced
- 200 g pack Button Mushrooms, sliced
- 4 T Maida (refined wheat flour/plain flour)
- 150 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ¾ C Fresh Cream
- 750 ml Chicken Stock
- 1 tsp Lime Juice
- 4 T flavourless Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
To make chicken stock
- (Use chicken from the main ingredients list)
- 6 small Onions
- 6-8 Garlic Cloves
- 10 Pepper Corns
- 2 Birinji Leaves (Dried Bay Leaves)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 4 C Water
Preparing the stock
- Place all the ingredients, including the chicken, in a large vessel.
- Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for half an hour.
- Remove the chicken pieces.
- Cool the stock, strain.
Preparing Chicken à la King
- Remove the chicken meat (after removing from the stock) from the bones and dice. Discard the bones.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan.
- Fry the green, red, and yellow capsicum on low heat. Remove after 2 minutes and set aside.
- In the remaining oil, fry the onion and stir till it becomes translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook for a minute.
- Add the milk gradually and stir. Bring to boil on low heat, stirring continuously.
- When the mixture is thick, add the stock and simmer until it becomes thick.
- Add the chicken, the capsicum, chilli powder and salt. Simmer for a few minutes till the chicken is heated through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cream and lime juice.
- Serve immediately with Irish Soda Bread.
- As curry cut chicken includes the bones, the stock obtained is much richer in flavour than if you make it with just the meat.
- If you need a slightly thinner gravy, you can add another half cup of chicken stock.
- There will be some chicken stock leftover. Bottle and freeze, and use for Mushroom and Capsicum Pulav.
- Do not cook the capsicum along with the mushroom. Otherwise, the capsicum flavour will dominate the preparation. It is best to add it along with the chicken.
- I prefer Kashmiri chilli powder for its mild flavour. If using any other type of chilli powder, use only half the amount.
- I use a wire whisk to stir the cream to make it smooth and obtain even blending.