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Deana's Chicken a la King Deana's Chicken a la King

Deana's Chicken a la King

One of the many reasons why I love cooking and sharing meals is because of the impact food has on evoking memories, experiences, and cherished nostalgia. For many people, when you hear the words "family recipe" a certain dish or memory of a meal comes to mind. Whether it is a recipe that has been passed down through generations of children and grandchildren, or a special meal your mom used to make, or a tradition that you look forward to each year like eating Chicken a la King on Christmas Eve. Food has a magical way of transporting you to another time and place. 

My favorite meal growing up was my mom Deana's recipe for Chicken a la King, which refers to the velvety bechamel-style cream sauce that so elegantly wraps itself around peas, pimentos, and chicken of course. As a child, I fondly remember this dish being "so fancy" and was impressed by my mom's advanced culinary techniques. Turns out, it's a foolproof recipe that can be made in a pinch and tastes like being wrapped in a warm blanket, fresh out of the dryer.

As an ode to my sweet mama and a tender moment of appreciation for the "food that stole our hearts," I took on the profound task of recreating this recipe in a way that would make Deana proud. Spicewalla Cracked Coriander & Pepper blend was the perfect seasoning to compliment this dish, brightening up the dish and enhancing the flavours with subtle notes of citrus and spice. The effortlessly fluffy and puffy puff-pastries were the perfect vessel for the rich and decadent filling, creating the ultimate comfort food. It was love at first bite, as the memories came flooding back, bringing tears to my eyes. I think my mom would approve of the way I flavour-fied her Christmastime classic, and I hope it brings you a smile too.

yield: 2-4 servings
prep time: 1 hour
cook time: 20 minutes


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp Spicewalla Cracked Coriander & Pepper, divided
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp of Spicewalla Garlic Powder
1 tsp of Spicewalla Onion Powder
1 cup of milk or heavy cream (I used half & half!)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
1 jar of diced pimentos, drained
1 package of frozen puff pastry, thawed

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Onion Powder
Onion Powder



  1.  Thaw puff pastry in the fridge according to package instructions. The dough I used needed to be thawed for at least 6 hours, so I left it in the fridge overnight the day before.
  2.  Combine 1 tbsp Cracked Coriander & Pepper seasoning with 1 tbsp of olive oil in a small bowl. Coat chicken breasts and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3.  Heat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, in a heavy cast iron, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, place chicken breasts in the pan and season with salt. Cook for about 7 minutes on each side, then place cast iron in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  4.  Remove chicken breasts from the oven and allow to rest and cool completely before chopping.
  5.  Prepare your puff pastry by placing dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into the desired shape (I went with your average rectangle shaped pastry, but you could get fancy here if you want and use a cookie cutter or jar to create circles or other shapes.) Place dough on an oiled baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook at 400°F for about 20 minutes or until pastries are a beautiful golden brown.
  6.  Time to make the sauce! Heat butter in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in flour to create a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until roux is slightly darker in color but not quite golden.
  7.  Stir in milk or heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder and 1 tbsp Cracked Coriander & Pepper seasoning.
  8.  Stir in the chicken stock, adding more as needed to create a smooth sauce that is not too thick. Continue cooking your sauce over medium-low heat, allowing the flavours to come together harmoniously.
  9.  Stir in the peas, diced pimentos, and lastly the chopped chicken breasts. Cook just a few minutes longer until peas are slightly softer but still pop in your mouth (because who likes overcooked peas?!)
  10.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may or may not need to add more salt, depending on how salty your chicken stock is.
  11.  When ready to serve, pour your creamy chicken mixture over top of the puff pastry and garnish with a pinch of fresh parsley.

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Onion Powder
Onion Powder



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