Chicken A La King with Black Pepper Biscuits

I realized something about classic movies last week. And by classic, I’m talking Goonies, Princess Bride and films of that caliber. If you don’t see these movies as a kid, you might as well accept the fact that you will hate them as an adult and will most likely spend your life being mocked for your lack of superior movie knowledge. See, a friend of mine recently admitted that he’d never seen Goonies. And he was actually quite blase about it. As if it wasn’t a huge deal and who really cares about Goonies.

I debated, momentarily, about calling off our friendship. This is Goonies, people. How can you make jokes about one-eyed pirates or shout out “Baby Ruth” if you’ve never seen it? It’s like missing an incredibly vital part of childhood. I accept that there are people that haven’t seen Goonies, I just don’t know that I can really like them as much as I would if they were in on how awesome it is.  And the big letdown is that if my friend ever did watch the movie (seriously, how does he miss it? It is on cable basically every weekend), he’d hate it. Because now, he is an adult. It would seem silly and childish.

Case in point, A Christmas Story. That movie is a holiday icon. It isn’t Christmas unless you’ve watched it at least once. Preferably, it should be on loop for the full 24 hours Christmas Day. It’s just what people should be doing. Perhaps alternating between A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, that’d be acceptable. But truly, it is not Christmas without it.

It goes right back, however, to my theory about watching these classic films during adulthood. If you missed out as a kid, you’re screwed. A friend watched A Christmas Story for the first time as an adult and hated it. She didn’t even crack a smile when Flick’s tongue gets stuck to the pole. No giggles when Ralph says fudge. Not even a small smile when he grumpily lumbers down the stairs in a pink bunny suit (spoiler alert: you should have seen this so it is your own fault if I’ve spoiled anything). And thus, she probably wouldn’t get why I relate turkey a la king to Ralph Parker. See, the neighbor’s dogs eat their turkey and do there will be no turkey hash. No turkey soup. No turkey a la king! They end up eating duck at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas day. And I was left, for years, wondering what the heck turkey a la king was.

Well, now I know. In this version, I used chicken. I had some on hand. Of course, sub it out for turkey if you’ve got leftovers (should you be that fortunate and no dogs destroy your meal). It’s really just chicken in a creamy, thick sauce with the classic mirepoix veggies. You can eat it like that, as a thick saucy mixture but I really like to add mine on top of something. In this case, black pepper biscuits. Heavy on the black pepper, these biscuits are great because the give a nice, spiced flavor to the chicken. Plus, you obviously use the biscuit to sop up all the delicious sauce.

Now. Please, for my sake, take in a classic movie over the weekend. Make me happy. Watch Back to the Future or Ghostbusters. Animal House would work. Just educate yourself, mmmkay?

Chicken A La King with Black Pepper Biscuits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • For chicken:
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 7 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2½ cups chopped chicken breast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For biscuits:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

  1. Begin with the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, black pepper and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor (alternately, you could just use a bowl and mix well). Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add in the butter then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. With the processor on low, pour the buttermilk into the mixture in a stream until it just comes together. Place the dough on a lightly-floured surface. Pat it down until it is ¾ inch thick.
  3. Use a biscuit cutter and cut out biscuits until you have only scraps remaining. Combine the scraps and cut the remaining into more biscuits. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden.
  4. To prepare the chicken, melt butter in a skillet over medium high. Add in onion and sauté until softened. Add in flour and whisk well, ensuring that the flour is completely combined. Slowly add in the milk, ½ cup at a time. Whisk thoroughly. A very thick, white sauce will form. Once you’ve added all the milk, add in the chicken. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble, place a heaping spoonful of chicken on top of a sliced biscuit. Place the biscuit lid on top.


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