Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Chicken a la king

If you do a Google search for chicken a la king, it seems to have had a fairly widespread history, but I've never met a non-South African who has ever heard of it. Perhaps it went out of fashion everywhere else and lingered on in South Africa. At one stage, any large scale catering function in South Africa would almost certainly feature chicken a la king. Nowadays, this is less likely to be the case. But it's in my book, so I thought I'd share it with you.
This recipe was given to me by the pastor's wife at a church I last attended when I was expecting my 19-year-old son, so it goes back a way.

It's quite fiddly in the beginning, so feel free to find an alternative source for the cooked chicken pieces.

1 cooked chicken
2 large onions, chopped
500ml chicken stock
500ml plain yoghurt
1 can creamed mushrooms
250g fresh mushrooms, sliced
250ml frozen peas
125ml cream (optional)
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
A little oil for frying

  • Skin and debone the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces (this is the fiddly bit I mentioned earlier).
  • Fry the onion and mushrooms until the onions are soft and translucent. I use a large saucepan for this stage, so that I don't wind up using more than one cooking vessel.
  • Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil (except the cream, if you're using that), stirring frequently.
  • Simmer very gently for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Stir in the cream (if you're using it).
  • If necessary, thicken the sauce with cornflour.
  • Normally served with rice and a leafy salad.


  1. One of my childhood meals! Mum made it with the leftover chicken from Sunday roast. She picked of the meat, then boiled the carcase for stock. She then mixed the stock with condensed Mushroon soup. It didn't always include fresh mushrooms, but always had peas. No yoghurt (not readily available in 1960s England) but definitely cream. Wow - hadn't thought about that meal for years...think I'll have to do that next time the rst of the family have a roast chicken - I think the kids will love it!

  2. @Catherine I remember it being prepared like that, too. However, there is never any "leftover chicken" when I do a roast... or not enough to do another meal with. Anything that's left on the carcass after a meal will most certainly be demolished by my carnivorous elder son half an hour later, when he's peckish again.

    I know we eat more nowadays, but I have an old Marguerite Patten cookbook (which I adore!), which lists chicken sizes in a section near the beginning, and the thing sold as a large chicken in Morrisons today would barely have made the grade as a small chicken by her standards!

    An alternative to the yoghurt is, of course, white sauce.