Chicken á La King

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This is a recipe for Chicken á La King – “Chicken for the King”. Our family has had this for Christmas Eve dinner for generations! It is a fun tradition – a way of celebrating the newborn King. I just love the tradition, and I just LOVE this dinner. Although I think it’s incredibly delicious, I absolutely will not make it on any other day of the year. It’s kept special just for the night before the Lord’s birth. Reserving it for Christmas Eve every year makes it even more special and yummy.
Here’s a picture of Brittany on Christmas Eve, and you can see the crowns on the counter, at the bottom right. – Erin

Chicken á La King
Submitted by Erin

½ c. butter
½ c. red bell pepper, chopped (original recipe calls for pimiento peppers instead but I’ve never used them)
½ c. green pepper
———————Sauté just until soft. Then add flour.

½ c. flour
——————Add to butter mixture and mix well to make a roux. Let it bubble.

2 small cans mushrooms and juice
3 c. chicken broth
———————-Add and bring to boil to thicken.

1 c. cream
5 c. cooked chicken, shredded ( Rotisserie chicken works beautifully!)
salt and pepper
———————-Add. Don’t boil after adding cream.

(Add ¼ c. milk to thin if needed.)

To make the ‘crowns’: Buy wheat bread at the store – not whole wheat, just the cheapo wheat kind. (Or you can use white if you prefer.) Get out your muffin tin. Place a slice of bread over a muffin hole. Push in on the four sides and push down into the muffin hole. Don’t squash the bread, but use enough force so that it stays down in the muffin hole. The four corners should be sticking up. Bake at about 250 until toasted and dry. I can’t remember how long it takes (and neither can my Mom :) so keep checking them every 5 minutes. When done, the bread will be like toast, and you will be able to lift the crowns out of the muffin tin and they will hold their crown shape.

To serve: Place one or two bread ‘crowns’ on your plate and ladle the chicken gravy over the crowns. Using a fork or a knife, cut the crown into pieces and eat with the chicken gravy.


  1. Brittany says

    I love this tradition as well as the recipe!! It is delicious and I love dishes that represent something too. I always look so forward to this dinner – my mouth is watering! YUM!!

  2. KathiS says

    For the longest time I have been looking for a recipe like this and here it is! Brings back great memories of good times and good food. Thank you so much for posting!

  3. Kristy says

    I’m going to try this for Christmas Eve. I like the idea and it sounds yummy. Do you cut the crust off the bread or leave it on…does it matter?

  4. Erin says

    We always leave the crusts on the bread. I’ve never considered cutting them off, honestly. I think the crusts give the crown a finished look, so I would say leave them on. :)

  5. Mary says

    I am not sure how I even came across this blog one day, but I did and I really have enjoyed seeing your recipes. I finally decided to post a comment to say – Thank you and Merry Christmas! I think I will be making this recipe for Christmas Eve. :) -Mary

  6. Kristy says

    Thanks, Erin. I can’t wait to try this and it makes it even easier to leave the crusts on. I was hoping that would be your answer! :)

  7. Danielle says

    I made this for dinner last night & it was great! My boyfriend absolutely loved it. I will probably add some peas & other veggies next time. I am somewhat new to cooking & appreciate this new addiction to my small collection of recipes! Your website is a great resource!!

  8. Jen says

    I made this last year for the first time and it was amazing! (For Anna: I just left out the mushrooms and it turned out wonderfully.) What type of cheap wheat bread do you use? The kind I used last year didn’t work out as nicely as your pictures. Maybe it’s just a lack of practice on my part, but if you have a brand you like, would you please share? Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe!

  9. Erin says

    Jen, I don’t have a preferred brand of bread… I just buy the cheap generic brand because it is flimsy and light, and easy to bend without breaking. I hope you get the crowns to work out better this year. Just avoid the heavy varieties of bread that have more substance to them. :) And I am really glad that you liked it last year! I can’t wait to have it again this Christmas Eve!

    • Erin says

      Hi Kim,
      I would say this recipe feeds about 8 people. Maybe more if there are lot of salads and other sides. That is my experience, but when you make it, I’d be curious how many people it fed for you. If you think of it, you can pop back to tell us how it worked out. :) Have a wonderful holiday season!
      PS. I bake two dozen crowns for one recipe.

  10. Donna says

    What a wonderful family tradition.. I too love the meaning that goes along with the recipe.. since my family has traditions for Christmas eve and would not be happy to change them.. I guess that is what traditons are meant to be.. I will make it for Christmas night..I always have overnight guests, and never know what to feed them. I will be sure and tell them the meaning as well.. chicken for the King.. thanks for sharing!

  11. Patricia says

    Wonderful tradition, but my husband loves Chicken a La King too much to only have once a year. I make it about twice a month. We serve it over rice. And, that’s all he wants for the meal. My recipe is basically the same as yours, have been making it for years. When my son was small, (he’s now 38), he called it Chicken on a King.

    • Brittany says

      Hi Katie, I’ll answer for Erin! :) Our mom always does a green salad (usually with those tiny shrimp in it) and a fruit salad with fresh whipped cream. We also always have hot cocoa with dinner too!

  12. Leslie says

    This meal caught my eye on your blog….YUM! Sure looks worthy of a Christmas Eve dinner. It’s wonderful that you celebrate the Lord’s birth! :)
    Merry Christmas!

  13. Heidi says

    I finally got around to making this meal for Sunday dinner the other night. The chicken “gravy” was delicious. I added onions to the peppers and used fresh mushrooms because I happened to have them. My kids thought the crowns were cool.
    My husband didn’t like the bread crowns with the gravy as much, because when he was in the army they ate the army’s disgusting MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) version of Chicken a la King over a cracker-type bread and it reminded him too much of that. Totally not your fault. I find the army has ruined a lot of normal meals. He did really like the gravy though. Tonight we are having the leftovers over mashed potatoes ;)
    Thanks for a fabulous recipe and for keeping up a great blog!

    • says

      Thanks for your comment – it was fun to hear from you, and I got a kick out of the fact that your husband has aversions to meals that remind him of the dreaded MREs. :) I hope that serving the chicken gravy over mashed potatoes will be more palatable for him. :) That is a good idea!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Donna says

    I love the chicken ala king recipe for Christmas Eve dinner. We have several meals to plan for group dinners as we are expecting a lot of family this year. I have a question about how many this recipe serves? I didn’t see that anywhere probably overlooking it somewhere?

    Thanks for the great suggestion:}}

    • says

      Hi Donna, I would say this recipe feeds about 8 people. Maybe more if there are lot of salads and other sides. Also, I bake about two dozen crowns for one recipe. They take around 20 (or more) minutes in the oven, but keep checking them. Have a wonderful holiday season!

  15. Cheryl says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it is absolutely delicious! I couldn’t believe how easy and quick it was to put together and cook. I ended up serving it over biscuits and it was a hit with my family. I also used a rotisserie chicken and I believe it even added to the flavor . Thank you so much for posting.


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