Chicken à la King, a Classic Made Skinny




Chicken à la King is a delicious, nostalgic recipe consisting of diced chicken in a luxuriously rich, cream sauce with vegetables and often served over rice, pasta or bread.  The other key ingredient is diced pimentos. One of my Facebook friends, Jerry Johnson, sent me the recipe his mom used, from an old Betty Crocker cookbook and asked if I could remake it skinny.  Since I love a challenge, I was happy to get to work in my kitchen.  Mission accomplished! Here’s my skinny version. I’ve added much more vegetables, a reduced-fat creamy sauce and serving stuffed into a baked potato. It’s super rich tasting and very filling. The skinny for each stuffed potato, 351 calories, 5 grams of fat and 8 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints.  I hope you all enjoy it, especially Jerry!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes for Chicken à la King
Bake Time: 1 hour for baked potatoes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light

3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (if slices are large cut each in half)

1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)

1½ cups onions, diced

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon fresh pepper, or to taste

1½ cups reduced-fat milk (2%)

1¼ cups Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped, skin removed

1 (4 oz) jar diced pimentos, drained, see shopping tip

6 medium baking potatoes (about 2-¼” to 3-¼” diameter)


Instructions

1. To Bake Potatoes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry each potato and pierce with a fork.  Bake in oven about 45 minutes- 1 hour until completely baked through. Remove from oven, wrap each in foil to keep warm. To cook in microwave: cook 1 potato at a time in the microwave. Cook for 3 minutes, turn over and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft. Remove from microwave, wrap each in foil to keep warm.

2. To Make Chicken à la King: In a large nonstick pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, onions, red bell peppers in butter, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft about 4 minutes.

3. Stir in flour, salt and pepper and stirring constantly, until blended; remove from heat. Using a whisk, stir in milk and broth. Continue to whisk until the flour becomes dissolved. Place back on medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly until boiling.  Continue to boil, stirring continuously for 1 more minute. Stir in chicken, pimentos and continue to cook until hot.

4.  Cut baked potatoes in half.  Mash each with a fork.  Add about ¾ cup Chicken à la King to each.

5. This dish can be made ahead and reheated. It also freezes great.

Makes 6 servings (1 potato and about ¾ cup Chicken à la King)


Food Facts

The origin of Chicken à la King isn’t clear however the recipe was mentioned in the New York Times back in 1893 and earlier published recipes appeared in 1900.

Pimentos are a small, round, red pepper with a sweet flavor. They are also known as cherry peppers, because of their red color and round shape. A common use for pimentos is to dice them and stuff them into Spanish or Manzanilla olives.


Shopping Tips

Pimentos are sold diced in small glass jars. Look in the pickle or olive section or ask your grocer.


Serving Tips

Chicken à la King can also be served over rice, pasta or toasted bread


Weight Watchers
 Freestyle SmartPoints 8

Weight watchers POINTS PLUS 9



SKINNY FACTS: for 1 stuffed potato (includes ¾ cup Chicken à la King and baked potato)
351 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 5mg chol, 24g protein, 54g carbs, 6g fiber, 346mg sodium, 6g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
252 calories, 1g sat. fat, 8g protein, 5g sugar