70s Party FOOD: Chicken a la King

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I have pretty much finalized the menu for our 70s Disco Party on Saturday and like in previous years, I always cook a “taste test” version about a week before the party unless the dish is something we’ve had many many times already.  Actually, coming up with a menu turned out to be a  lot more work than normal.  I had difficulty finding really good food that were popular in the 70s!  At the end of the day (at least today!), I decided to choose from an old Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library which was published in the 70s.

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The plan was to take a 70s “favorite” (or non-favorite) and tweak it for today’s tastebuds.  I started yesterday with the Fish Florentine (I will be posting my sample in the next couple of days).  My taste-tester liked it. That dish is good to go.  Today I made Chicken Ala King.  I didn’t exactly follow the recipe as printed in the 70s version. I made white sauce instead of using can of cream of celery, added peas and carrots and topped it with ready-to-bake biscuits instead of noodles or rice.  Still, I doubt if I will ever serve it to…..anybody! It was just so bland I didn’t even want to serve it to my taste-tester!  But he did taste it and said it was OK.  OK?  Something must be terribly wrong with his taste buds!!!! I will have to do a lot more tweaking to this one. (Or maybe find another chicken casserole recipe!)  I’m sharing the recipe I ended up with anyway.  Perhaps you have other ideas.  It might not make it to my party on Saturday but it sure would be a good project in the future.

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Chicken Mushroom a la King adapted from 1970s Betty Crocker Recipe Library

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2  cups cooked chicken, diced (my chicken was so cooked it got shredded upon baking!)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs onion, minced
  • ¼ cup sweet pepper, diced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (found in freezer section of grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. Heat butter and saute` onions and pepper until soft.
  2. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook gently but do not let it brown. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens.
  3. Add half and half and simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is reduced slightly.
  4. Add the mushrooms, olives, peas, carrots  and chicken. Bring just to a simmer. Add sherry, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer to a baking dish.
  6. Place ready-to-cake biscuits on top and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until biscuits are light brown.

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» Tangled Noodle said: { Aug 7, 2009 - 06:08 }

I don’t know if you were able to tweak the flavor but it certainly LOOKS fantastic! How did the party go? What a great idea and fun theme! I think that there are a lot of recipes that were popular in previous decades that, with a bit of creativity, can be updated for today. I would totally eat a plate of this! 8-D

» ChiknAlaShepardsPie said: { Sep 16, 2009 - 12:09 }

I’ve never heard of Chicken Ala King baked with a crust or without pimentos. Also never heard of onions measured in tbsp. No wonder it was bland. I have nothing against “bland” BTW. I have sensitive taste buds.

I’m assuming it was the recipe, but if I were ad libbing I would actually add something with flavor.

» virtual chef said: { Sep 16, 2009 - 12:09 }

chiknalashepardspie: LOL…well it was Betty Crocker’s recipe from the 70s. It’s interesting how recipes evolve into different versions. I’m sure it would be better if we did add some flavor to it. :)


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