Welcome to “Cooking Through the Decades,” a 10-week journey through the 20th century, where you can let our revamped retro recipes take you back through history. Cook along with us for a chance to win cookbooks and an America’s Test Kitchen apron autographed by Bridget Lancaster.
This week’s challenge was a historical recipe that was no stranger to many of your palates. In various guises, Chicken à la King has graced American dinner tables for over 100 years, and memories of eating the cream-bathed chicken are not soon forgotten. It’s like going to Grandma’s house. Mom used to make it. On waffles. On pastry. On canned Chinese noodles. On toast points. On rice. Like anything so enduring, the dish is open to interpretation. America’s Test Kitchen revises old recipes to reinvigorate the classic dish, and this week, our readers rose to the challenge of breaking tradition and putting it back together again on toast. I won’t hazard say that kids have always loved Chicken à la King–some recollections of mother’s rendition are no doubt less fond than others–but as for making it now, the whole family is sure to love it!
Congratulations to this week’s lucky cooks Michael Fiure and Nicole Cadkin, who are the winners of a copy of From Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens and an America’s Test Kitchen apron signed by Bridget Lancaster. See their photographs featured at the bottom of this post.
Hungry for more? 1917 was the year of the first cocktail party held by one Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr., an event that made headlines in the Kansas City Star. Try your hand at these additional period plates, with a well-mixed drink in hand, for a party that could rival what then was seen as “positively the newest stunt in society.” Celebrate while you can, for prohibition is only a few years away.
Get the recipes for these wartime foods: Tamale Pie, a sure way to eat thriftily during rationing; Cornmeal Biscuits, a food that would win the war, according to government cookbooks that urged bakers to substitute corn, oats, or rye for wheat; Chocolate Cream Cupcakes, a homemade version of the Hostess treat invented in 1919.
Time waits for no cook, and we’re moving on to the next decade, so be sure to join us for 1920s cooking in this week’s challenge and more chances to win!
(Vintage postcard from Postcards from the Dinner Table.)
Nicole Cadkin and daughter make Chicken à la King often, but they changed up the routine to try the America's Test Kitchen recipe -- and to great success! Vegetables and bread from the farmer's market and the brightness of the lemon and parsley to finish it off made a Sunday dinner that'll go down in history. She blogs about her adventures in the kitchen at Delicious Dairyland.
Michael Fiure has plated his Chicken à la King beautifully, a modern set-up for a century-old classic. It's a good thing he snapped this photograph before dinner because the plate would soon be licked entirely clean. Congratulations again to our winners!