It is always great to expand your horizons when it comes to cooking - well I think so anyway! haha! If you cook as much as I do, repeating the same dishes again and again can become somewhat monotonous, so I like to explore a little bit :)
I discovered this wonderful traditional Louisiana casserole that simply looked delicious, so I thought I would give it a whirl!
It was a lovely dish - really homely and tasty. Although I will say one thing... Louisiana folks CLEARLY have a lower "heat" tolerance than us South Africans.. (or perhaps its just me. lol) because I put MORE than the allocated quota of Cajun spice and although it had a nice spicy flavour... it certainly wasn't HOT, as was mentioned in the original recipe.
However, that is great in my opinion, as you can always add some freshly chopped chilli to the green garnishing at the end if you wanted more of a bite, but it at least caters for both "hot and not so hot" lovers :)
Ok, so let's get to it!!
What you need:
4 tbsp olive oil
5 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunky pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
3 bay leaves
5 tbsp plain flour
4 tsp Cajun spice mix (or 1 each paprika, ground cumin, ground chilli and dried basil)
600ml chicken stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
2 green peppers, de-seeded and cut into chunks (I used 1 green and one red for colour variation)
300g thickly sliced ham, trimmed of any fat and diced
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp very roughly chopped parsley
How its done:
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide casserole or big frying pan and fry the chicken for a few mins to brown.
Tip out onto a plate.
Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp more oil and fry for 5 mins until almost softened.
Add the celery and fry for another 2 mins, then tip out to join the chicken.
Add the remaining oil, bay leaves and flour to the pan and cook into a paste.
Carry on cooking, stirring constantly (with a splash of water if you need), until golden brown, then stir in the spices for 2 mins.
Gradually stir in the stock until smooth and saucy.
Return the chicken and veg to the pan, along with the peppers, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins.
Stir in the ham, cover and simmer gently for 10 mins more.
Check for seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with the spring onions mixed with the chopped parsley.
I served this dish with Basmati rice (sticky rice) as I far prefer it to normal rice - plus it is great for absorbing all the juiciness of the dish!!
Well, Steemians... thats a wrap!
Grubs up! Enjoy ;)
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