Cheesy Chicken a la King

When Grady and I were newlyweds I was just slightly addicted to Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals.  I was facintated with the idea that you could make a fully home cooked meal in half an hour that tasted like it had been SLAVED over.  I watched religiously every evening and EVERY Saturday morning.  She was my idol.

That Christmas my parents gave me a 30 minute meal cookbook.  I was in H-E-A-V-E-N.  It was packed full of simple and delicious meals that I could get on the table in no time.  I have to admit that it’s, to this day, my most used cookbook.  It’s well loved.  And by loved I mean, tattered, splattered, wrinkled, dog-eared, written in, torn, battered and seasoned.  I use it QUITE often.

I have at least a dozen “go to” recipes that are sure fire family satisfiers.  I’m hoping to share more of them with you in the coming months.  I know I’m not the only crazy, busy wife out there who needs a fast fix that tastes GOOD.

I’ll admit we don’t use many of the chicken recipes.  We just aren’t much of a chicken eating family… go figure.  But, there ARE a couple that I know will leave my family on the speechless side at the table.

Cheesy Chicken a la King is one of them.  It’s rich, hearty and just plain down-home comfort food.  It’s PERFECT for days like today, chilly, blustery and perfectly fall-like.  After the night my poor husband had last night I knew he’d want something warm and cozy in his belly.

Cheesy Chicken a la King

2-3 large chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces

3 TBSP butter

3 TBSP flour

1 1/2 cup milk

2 cups frozen mixed veggies, cooked and drained

4 oz. shredded colby jack cheese

salt and pepper

1 can jumbo biscuits

Preheat oven to 350°.  Place biscuits on a baking sheet and bake according to directions.

Coat a hot skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Brown chicken over medium heat in the pan until no longer pink.  At this point you can season your chicken with whatever seasoning you like.  I used cajun seansoning, onion powder and salt and pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add butter to hot pan and melt.  When melted, evenly sprinkle in the flour and whisk until combined.  Let flour mixture cook for a few minutes until a slightly nutty smell comes from it.  While whisking the flour add the milk.  Whisk until completely blended with no lumps.  Stir consistently until the mixture thickens.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Congratulations, for those of you who have never made gravy, you have successfully made history in your kitchen!!!!

When the gravy is thick add in chicken, vegetables and cheese.  Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are thoroughly heated.

To prepare a plate split a biscuit and generously spoon the gravy mixture over the top.

Next, watch your family thank you profusely for filling their bellies with warm goodness and pat yourself on the back for getting it done in a flash!

My alterations:

     * I usually don’t buy frozen mixed veggies because my kids aren’t fans of everything in that bag.  Okay, it’s mainly the lima beans and peas, but there’s just so many of them.  Instead, I ALWAYS have canned veggies on hand.  I drain a can of green beans, sliced carrots and sweet corn and add those instead.  You can add any veggies you like.  If you love broccoli add frozen broccoli.  Peas…go for it.  Add whatever your heart desires.  The more veggies you add the further this recipe will go.

     * The original recipe calls for precooked chicken which would cut some additional time, BUT I like to cook mine right there.  You get the added bonus of all the good little bits and morsels in your gravy from the cooking of the chicken. I think it adds a depth of flavor to your sauce.

     * Finally, if you don’t think you’ll like it with cheese…leave it out.  Trust me it’s definitely good without it.  The cheese is just an added bonus.

Try to plan this for the next cold, wintery evening.  It’ll make you crave your favorite blankie and that perfect spot on the couch.

Peace, love and chicken kings.

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