Tag Archives: chicken

Chicken Étouffée à la Dad

photo 2 (3)Once upon a time, we were in Wisconsin at my parents’ house. In Wisconsin, the days are book-ended by coffee at the beginning and amazing dinner at the end. Recently, my dad has been on a Cajun kick and I’ve tasted two different kinds of Étouffée and a Gumbo. These culinary excursions have reminded me of something: I LOVE CAJUN FOOD. I had forgotten, somehow … though I don’t understand how, since that’s what we served at our wedding, for Pete’s sake.

Anyway, Cajun and I are getting along just great again. We reignited our feelings for one another through this recipe, courtesy of this awesome food blog, via my dad, and now I’m passing it along to you.

If someone served this to me at a restaurant, I would be happy. That’s how good it is. It has a nice low burn to it, but it’s not too spicy–in fact, my husband denies he can even taste the spice.

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Hmmm. His taste buds must have been nuked–that’s the only explanation I can think of, because there’s definitely some heat there.

In fact, upon further thought, I believe I can identify the very place where his taste buds were forever damaged: a little restaurant called Burmese Gems (since closed) that we ate at during our undergrad days in Bloomington, Indiana. Their food was so spicy that once, on the walk back to the dorms, I had to lie down on the sidewalk because the pain in my abdomen from the spice was so severe.

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The sidewalk, people!

My taste buds made it out okay, but apparently my spouse’s were forever inoculated against spice, and now he can’t taste it unless it’s of the magnitude of the Chicago fire. Or something.


Here’s the recipe, a couple semi-blurry iPhone pics and my firmest endorsement.

Chicken Étouffée à la Dad

(Serves 8)


2 TBS olive oil
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 stick butter
2/3 cup flour
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle amber beer
2 bay leaves
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chiles
3 cups chicken stock
1 TBS maple syrup
2 TBS Cajun seasoning
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
Serve with rice and a bottle of hot sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; brown in batches and remove to a cutting board.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces (it will still be a little raw–that’s fine). Prep your veggies: dice the onion, green pepper, celery, and mince the garlic.
  3. Melt the butter in the pot; when melted, add the flour and stir frequently for 20-25 minutes (don’t let it burn!) to create a roux. The roux is done when it’s a little darker than peanut butter. If your chicken brownings are coloring the roux from the start, go even darker.
  4. Add the diced veggies and garlic to the roux. Cook for 10 minutes, until they’re softened.
  5. Pour in the beer and scrape the pot to get all the browned bits in circulation.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients (bay leaves, tomatoes, stock, maple syrup, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce) and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and add the chicken pieces back in.
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes; taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Serve with rice and hot sauce that everyone can add to taste.

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Chicken and Rice with Peas


I’ve made Chicken and Rice in many variations and usually end up being disappointed. Soggy rice, overcooked meat, too much mushy uniformity. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, very good but extremely laborious. But this version, I really enjoyed. It was a success on both ends–good-tasting and not too complicated for a weeknight.


Yes, it’s ultimately one bowl of the same thing (so not a thrill for those who enjoy a little bit of this, a little bit of that), but for me on that particular evening it was one bowl of pure comfort. With wine by candlelight, even better.


And let me tell you what happened with the leftovers after a little trip through the food processor:

DSC_0059 DSC_0058

Well? Do we have an official Alice Endorsement?


Thinking . . . thinking . . .


And the answer is . . .



Inspired by the October 2012 issue of Real Simple, here it is.


(Serves 3-4)

1 TBS olive oil
2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup diced green olives

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken breasts, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken breasts on all sides for about 10 minutes, then remove them to a plate.

2. Add the minced onion to the pot and cook over medium high heat until starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding salt and pepper as it cooks.

3. Add the garlic and pepper to the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the             pepper has softened.

4. Add the rice, broth and thyme; stir well, then add the chicken pieces on top.

5. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Turn off the heat.

6. Remove the chicken to a cutting board.

7. Stir the peas and olives into the pot of rice, cover the pot and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

8.  Shred or chop the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Stir the             chicken pieces into the pot of rice and taste for seasoning. Serve hot!


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