March is certainly coming in like a lion in my neck of the woods! The month kicked off with a snow storm leaving a sizable accumulation followed by cold spell with temps in the single digits!
With weather like that, I crave soothing dishes that’ll warm me from the inside out and had a hankering for Chicken a la King; a dish my mom used to make with leftover cooked chicken, mushrooms & a creamy sauce made with butter, cream, flour and spices.
Unfortunately, the bulk what the sauce is comprised of is dairy & gluten, ingredients I can no longer eat! Dang! My challenge was to recreate a gluten and dairy-free version with the flavor of my mom’s, but more importantly, with the velvety texture that hers was famous for. I also thought it would be cool to make it Paleo as well.
In order to make the creamy base as close as possible to my mom’s recipe, I decided to try using ingredients that paralleled those that the traditional sauce is made from, butter, cream and flour. Although I can’t eat butter, I can have ghee so I thought that would be a good starting point. Ghee is clarified butter; where the milk solids have been removed leaving just the oil, so is still technically considered dairy, but is accepted on a Paleo diet and is Whole30 compliant. For those that can’t tolerate dairy in any form, a non-dairy, soy-free butter substitute such as Soy-Free Earth Balance could be used in place of ghee to assure that the dish is completely dairy-free (although the dish would no longer be Paleo or Whole30 compliant). Full fat coconut milk with its rich, velvety texture would be a good replacement for cream, and I decided arrowroot flour would work well as my thickener in place of traditional flour.
With some experimenting and good old fashioned trial and error I came up with a pretty delicious version that successfully warmed my spirit on a cold winter night! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that March will go out like a lamb!
Chicken a la King
This dish is rich and creamy, reminiscent of the one my mother used to make, but a whole lot healthier and of course dairy and gluten-free!
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs ghee (to make it completely dairy-free use a soy-free vegan butter substitute such as Soy-Free Earth Balance, however; the recipe will no longer be Paleo or Whole30 compliant)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs arrowroot flour
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 tsp sea salt
In a large pot or Dutch oven melt ghee, add chopped garlic and cook on low for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
Turn heat to low, add olive oil and arrowroot and stir until combined. Slowly pour in coconut milk, stir to mix in. Then add almond milk and stir to combine. Allow to thicken. Add chicken and sea salt. Taste test and adjust seasonings, adding additional sea salt or black pepper to suit your taste. If desired, serve over riced cauliflower or paleo biscuits.
Prep Notes: this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, Paleo & Whole30 compliant