Variation on a theme

I generally cook on the weekends as Sofia does it during the week (mostly because she is here and I am in Ottawa). The challenge is always trying to prepare something that will not have the kids turn up their noses.

As I rummaged through the fridge looking for what was available, I found a chicken I had boiled the previous weekend (to make the stock base for Barscz - pronounced bar-sh-ch - Polish beet soup).

Since there was a lot of meat, I decided that I would make chicken-a-la-king - however, I lacked mushrooms and, so, used chef's discretion to make a substitution or two.

Meat from 1 boiled 1.5Kg (3lb) chicken, chopped into pieces.
1/3 cup (80ml) butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1-1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
2 cups (500ml) milk or cream or similar
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
Dash of pepper
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/3 cup (80ml) flour

Sauté the onions in the melted butter until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).
Add the chopped bell pepper and sauté for another 10 minutes.
Blend the flour, salt, pepper and curry powder and add to the sautéed mixture. Stir under reasonably well blended and there are no lumps.
Slowly add in the stock and milk, stirring to avoid lumps. Let this come to a slow boil (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
Add the chopped chicken and heat thoroughly.

Serves a bunch of people. Tania and Sofia had it with rice; JJ And I had it with fettuccine noodles.

I used a fortified rice beverage (Rice Dream or similar) instead of milk because JJ's eczema seems to react badly when he consumes dairy products. However, you could probably substitute Soy milk or coconut milk as well (although, if it is that thick coconut milk, I would thin it down with some water).

A good curry powder is essential. I find many of the cheaper ones have far too much clove for my taste.

I suppose you could also add some lemon grass or lemon juice to the recipe as well.

As might be imagine, this tastes nothing like chicken-a-la-king, but it is reminiscent of Butter Chicken.


Sounds great! Another one to try with the leftover turkey from this weekend! It was a 24 pounder and we've still got lots!
Richard said…
My sister had prepared a 14lb turkey, so she has some leftovers as well.

I often find myself modifying recipes because I rarely have all the necessary ingredients on hand.
Sign of a good resourceful cook! Gotta know how to adapt and improvise! I always say that I never make anything the same way twice! My lasagna is a perfect example as is meat loaf.
Richard said…
I rarely cook the same dish twice, simply because I rarely follow recipes or measure - mind you, they can be very, very similar
tin-tin said…
you should have posted a picture of your cooking :)
Lunafish said…
I haven't cooked that in a while, sounds like a great dish for fall.
I think I will give it a try.
I may post one of my favorites later this week.
Richard said…
tin-tin: it is notoriously hard to take a cook picture of food (which is why my recipe blog mostly died because I don't want to keep "borrowing" other peoples pictures).

lunafish: surprisingly, my kids will eat something-a-la-king. Although, they icked and ughed about the red pepper. I think I should have added some green peas for added colour.
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