I can’t imagine there are many people who don’t like pancakes. Savoury or sweet, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and a spritz of lemon juice or a gloopy drizzle of golden syrup, pancakes were always a huge favourite in our home, especially in the cooler months or at the merest hint of rain. Soup and pancake day, it was! Today’s recipe has two family favourites rolled into one and goes by the name of chicken a la king filled parsley pancakes.
Mother’s are expert jugglers of things, peacemakers and cookers of food. Let’s face it, feeding hungry mouths day after day requires some dedication. Since Mother’s Day is on the 14th May and as homage to all the gazillions of meals cooked by my mum, I’ve decided to revisit food from my childhood. In the month of May I’ll be reminiscing about South Africa’s favourite baked pudding, flipping dozens of pancakes and tackling how to transform a few meagre ingredients into a family feast – a skill our mother’s seemed to have a natural knack for. In addition to whipping up the easiest milk tart ever and baking a wintery syrup-soaked orange cake that’s been in the family for generations, I’m somewhat nervously going attempt to top my mum’s frikkadel (meatball) recipe that had us scrounging the bottom of the pan for any burnt bits of marmitey gravy.
I recommend that you double the pancake recipe because as we all know, the first three pancake attempts are purely for quality testing. Too thin, too thick, too lacey-edged, you know? By the fourth pancake, it’ll be just right. Another suggestion is to make the batter the night before to give it a chance to rest, making for the softest textured pancakes.
The chicken a la king filling can be served with buttery tagliatelle pasta or steamed rice although heaping the creamy chicken into these savoury herb pancakes makes it rather special. Most recipes have secret ingredients that elevate them to above ordinary and this is no exception. That said, most people can’t keep a secret especially when it comes to food so I’ll let the cat out the bag and tell you what it is – Cream cheese. Yip, that and a citrusy lemon tang that brightens everything. #newfamilyfavourite
Chicken a la king filled parsley pancakes
- Chicken a la king filled Parsley pancakes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted or the same of vegetable oil
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- ½ cup (125ml) water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- White sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
- 2½ tablespoons (40g) flour
- 3½ cups (875ml) milk
- ½ cup cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chicken a la king
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 250g (1 punnet, about 2 cups) button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- zest and juice of half a lemon
- 2 cups roast chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- sliced or grated mozzarella cheese, for the topping
- a handful of parmesan cheese
- chopped parsley
- Start by making the batter for the pancakes. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add the butter, milk and water and whisk to combine. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or better yet, overnight. When you're ready to cook the pancakes, stir through the parsley.
- Heat a pan until hot and cook the pancakes until golden on both sides.
- To make the white sauce, melt the butter in saucepan. Add the flour and whisk to combine into a smooth roux. Pour the milk in slowly, whisking all the while until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Add the cream cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- For the chicken a la king, heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook on a high heat until all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms take on some colour.
- Add the green peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with oregano, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.
- Reserve ½ cup of white sauce, pour the remaining sauce in with the mushrooms and add the chicken pieces. Simmer on a low heat for several minutes then set aside to cool slightly.
- Fill the pancakes with the chicken a la king and roll up tightly.
- Place the filled pancakes in a greased baking dish and pour over the reserved white sauce. Finally, top the pancakes with mozzarella and place under a grill until warmed through and the top is bubbling and golden.
- Finally, scatter the pancakes with freshly grated parmesan and parsley.
For all the sweet pancake fans, I’m sure these brown butter wholemeal pancakes will satisfy!