Chicken A La King is Son’s favorite meal. I mean his very, very favorite meal! Sure, he loves tons of other meals and foods, but if I ask him what he would like me to make “special” for him, the answer is always “Chicken A La King!” I tried different recipes over the years and finally created my own version that combined all the elements we loved. He’s enjoyed my gluten-free Chicken A La King recipe since going gluten free when he was a teenager.
And now I have a confession, I haven’t made this meal for him since he went dairy free, which was a very, very long time ago, folks. As in several years ago. So although some of you thought I deserved the Super Mom Award for baking cookies for him at midnight a while back—and late-night cookie baking to satisfy requests is actually a pretty common occurrence at our house —I am not always as quick to honor all of his recipe requests.
The version of Chicken A La King I have always made for us was naturally gluten free except for a small amount of flour, so it was easy to substitute my Two-Ingredient Gluten-Free Flour Mix to make a gluten-free version. I just never got around to making this recipe dairy free after Son also went dairy free.
Son hasn’t bugged me too much over the years about making gluten-free, dairy-free Chicken A La King for him, but when we went camping on July 4th, once again he wistfully mentioned missing Chicken A La King. An immediate pang of guilt went through me. Of course, we were camping and while I have no doubt that I could make Chicken A La King in that setting, we had lots of other great meals to keep him and us happy that weekend.
Still Son’s recent mention of his beloved Chicken A La King stuck in my head. Again, true Mom guilt, you know? When he told me that he was coming home this past weekend, I got ready. I checked my ingredients list and headed to our grocery store, Food Lion (which is conveniently located across the street from where we live) and bought all that I needed to make gluten-free, dairy-free Chicken A La King. It turns out it was really easy to make my recipe dairy free for Son. I simply substituted dairy-free butter and dairy-free milk and left out the cheese. I’ve left out cheese before in this recipe and as much as I love cheese, I actually like this recipe better without it.
What did Son think of this recipe? He thought it was fantastic! Of course, his review made me very, very happy! He ate the big plate shown here and then ate the entire remainder of all that I’d made once he got back home.
Yes, I sent him home with ALL that the recipe made as well as a whole cooler of food. That Mom thing once again!
Then Mr. GFE whined because there was no Chicken A La King for him so I made the recipe again, this time with dairy ingredients, including cheese. Happy Son, happy Mr. GFE! Happy Mom/wife! Sappy, but true.
By the way, Food Lion and my gfe approach to gluten-free eating have always been a perfect match. The real food that’s naturally gluten free—and the main focus of living gfe—such as meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, and dairy and dairy-free products (milk, cheese, yogurt) make up the perimeter of the store. “Shop the perimeter” of the grocery store to get the healthiest and most economical food is what we’ve always been told and that remains great advice for all, even those of us who are gluten free. Of course, it’s not a given that all the items in the perimeter are gluten free as some are processed, so always check ingredient labels.
Food Lion also has many mainstream ready-made products that happen to be gluten free and safe. Eating products like these definitely makes gluten-free living easier for us and our loved ones at times. Pick up ready-made products like gluten-free tortilla chips, canned beans, and ready-made salsa and you’re well on your way to enjoying a terrific meal like John Wayne Mexican Casserole.
In keeping with my gfe approach, there are also some gluten-free specialty items available at Food Lion which I use. Per my approach, I use gluten-free specialty items upon occasion, but not that often.
Note that the number and types of gluten-free specialty items available in Food Lion really depends upon the individual store’s consumer demand and the store’s management, so be sure to voice your specific requests to your Food Lion’s management. Also, be sure to tell your gluten-free friends who like those products that they are available so they will purchase them as well as the store manager will only continue to carry products that sell, because that’s Business 101.
Food Lion has a new website. You’ll find the functionality that you might expect like a “Store Locator,” “Weekly Specials,” and “Coupons.” I also like that I can create my own shopping list and easily add items from the weekly specials and coupons listing, plus I can also enter a shopping giveaway at the same time!
My favorite part of the new site is the “Recipes” section. The recipe database is populated by Food Lion staff members and their shoppers, folks like you and me.
It’s super easy to upload your own recipes. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to capture your recipes online for your own reference or for sharing with friends and family, this is a great way to do so. Plus, it’s always a kick to see one’s own name in the “byline.” Be sure to tag your recipe “gluten free,” so that others can find it!
While the population of the recipe database is in its early stages, I saw a number of recipes that interested me. Both the Gluten-Free Spoon Bread Muffins and Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls look great! Plus we’ve always been big fans of Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip, so I’ll definitely check out that recipe more (as in make it and check it out by dipping some tortilla chips in it!).
There are also gluten-free recipes in the “Paleo” category, which will work just fine for us—yummy recipes like Paleo Zucchini Bread Muffins.
There are even many recipes in other categories that are gluten free as long as you verify the gluten-free status of your ingredients, of course. Black Pepper Chocolate caught my eye. Especially when the recipe creator advised me to enjoy it with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon!
Back to My Chicken A La King Recipe
I checked my ingredients list before I headed to Food Lion:
- Butter (I planned to use a dairy-free, soy-free buttery spread; an oil like olive oil or coconut oil will also work)
- Gluten-free flour mix (as I mentioned earlier I make my own Two-Ingredient Flour Mix, but I needed one ingredient from Food Lion to make a new batch of my mix)
- Chicken broth (ensure it’s gluten free; not all brands are)
- Milk (my personal milk of choice for the dairy-free version of this recipe was canned full-fat coconut milk, but any milk will work)
- Boneless chicken breasts
- Peas (optional, but preferred in our house)
- Long-grain white rice (brown rice, gluten-free pasta, zucchini noodles, gluten-free toast also work as a nice base)
- Poultry seasoning
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
Although I made this recipe dairy free to accommodate Son, if you eat dairy, you can simply use dairy versions of those particular ingredients shown above. I often also add a small amount of grated cheddar cheese for the gluten-free, dairy-full version.
If you’re grain free and/or paleo, it’s easy to adapt this recipe for your needs as well. Simply use a thickener like arrowroot or coconut flour (be sure to use the latter in a smaller amount as it’s much more absorbent) and serve your Chicken A La King over zucchini noodles (or other grain-free noodles), grain-free toast, etc.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.