Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey a la King

Turkey a la King was a popular menu item many years ago.  The only restaurants that seem to serve this antique recipe in today's age are "greasy spoon" diners and cheap buffets.
     I worked a few years for the yacht club system.  Yacht clubs are one place where antique favorite recipes are still on the menu.  Our customers at yacht clubs were wealthy and at many times, very old fashioned.  Several generations of a yacht club family members have dined at the same table on occasion.  Small table conversations about personal memories of the antique traditional food on the menu was part of the comforting charm of a yacht club.  This version of the classic turkey a la king was on the lunch menu at the first yacht club that I cooked in.  This recipe is very close to the original recipe.  Our pastry chef had been cooking since the 1930's.  This was his old recipe.
     Recipe:  Make a pan roux in a sauce pot over medium heat with equal parts of unsalted butter and flour while constantly stirring.  When the roux turns to a golden color, add some fine minced onion and garlic.  Immediately add some light turkey broth.  Add a generous pour of dry vermouth.  Stir the sauce.
     Add some large bite size pieces of roasted turkey.  Add some chopped pimiento.  Stir the ingredients till a sauce is formed while cooking over medium heat.  Add some cream.  Add some large bite size pieces of red and green bell pepper.  Add some mushroom halves and quarters.  Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Turn the heat to medium low and gently simmer this white stew till the vegetables are tender and the sauce becomes a medium consistency.
     4 minutes before serving, stir in some peas.  Ladle the turkey a la king into a round casserole dish.  Make some small triangle cut French bread toast points by brushing them with melted butter and pan grilling them over medium heat.  Place the toast points around the turkey a la king in the casserole dish so the finished plate resembles a royal crown.
     The sauce is rich with the flavors of vermouth, pimiento, peppers and mushrooms.  Turkey is so nice with the sauce!  The old fashioned presentation with the toast points was the way we served this entree.  Turkey a la king is a well loved recipe even in today's age.  This recipe is great for using the extra roasted turkey meat from a holiday dinner.  Deliciously classic food!  Yum!  ...  Shawna  

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