Monday, October 11, 2010

Captains of the City Streets: Chicken A La King!

Happy Monday, my friends! Do I ever have a special treat for you guys tonight. For tonight, we have a meal made by Guest Chef Theone - she who made both potato latkes AND chestnuts for us last December. She has been telling me that I have to write about Captains of the City Streets by Esther Averill since I started this blog, and for some reason I just never have, so she just finally gave up and made it for me. Thank you!!
Theone is right about a lot of things, including that everybody who even somewhat likes cats should read this book.  It's awesome. 

Captains of the City Streets, a chapter book by Esther Averill, is a part of the Jenny's Cat Club book series. Originally written in the 1972, it follows a series of books that were published as early as the 1940's; the entire series was reprinted in 2005 by the New York Review Children's Collection.

The two main characters of the book, named Sinbad and The Duke, are both tramp cats by choice, not wanting an owner or any responsibilities, or any neighborhood obligations to fulfill. They ventured into a place called “Little Old New York,” a place with no food source for stray kitties, in order to find a steady home to give them room to practice their boxing skills (their skips and shuffles need work). There, they find an abandoned shed, but almost give up on their new home for lack of food before stumbling into both a kindly human who feeds them, and then the Cat Club, which is held nightly in his back yard, and which comprises some pretty awesome characters (a cat who can play the nose flute? Where else can you get that?!).

Sinbad and The Duke first met fellow tramp cat Patchy Pete at The Tramps' Last Stop - the southernmost point in New York where they're guaranteed a hot meal.  Cookie is the (human) chef at the restaurant, and he is so kind that he takes the time to count the number of strays that come to his back door, so that each gets his own plate of dinner leftovers.  For Sinbad and The Duke's meal, they are treated to Cookie's fabulous Chicken A La King, which Theone has made for us tonight.

And so, without further ado, I give you.... Guest Chef Theone!!!

Hi Kat!
Here's the recipe & photos for chicken a la king from "Captains of the City Streets" (possibly my very favorite children's book of all time). I'm not sure where I got the recipe; it might have been one of those good experiments.  Hope everyone enjoys! 

Captains of the City Streets' Chicken A La King
You will need:
1 15 oz.can of mixed vegetables
1 large cooked chicken breast, chopped finely OR 1 12.5 oz can of chicken (your choice)
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 cups of milk, cream or a combination of both (cream being the preferred dairy product of Sinbad & the Duke)
salt & pepper, to taste
biscuits, rolls or bread 

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
2. Add the flour & whisk madly for 2 or 3 minutes, making sure the flour does not burn
3. Add the dairy a bit at a time, making sure to whisk it into creamy wonderfullness.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the white sauce starts to thicken.
5. Turn the heat way down.
6. Add the meat, veggies & seasonings & turn up the heat until everything is heated through.
7. Serve over a bread of your choice. I prefer biscuits a la Pillsbury because they're so easy, but any old bread will do. Toast is also a nice choice, and faster.
(Rolls a la Pillsbury)

Bon apetit!

Thanks, Theone.  Your beautiful food, coupled with the fact that you took the time to make this for us, in addition to the fact that you actually put the book with the finished product (why do I never do that?  I totally should do that!) is seriously amazing. You're the best guest chef ever.

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