I cracked open one of my favorite cookbooks tonight for this one: Donald Link's Real Cajun. That guy knows how to use fats and spices! Here's my version of his Chicken Sauce Piquant (made significantly milder for the benefit of my 19 month old):
Chicken Sauce Piquant (serves 10-12 judging by tonight, 4-6 according to the book):
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 2 tsp red chile powder
- 2 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 pastured chicken, boned and cut into cubes (this was a pain...)
- 3/4 C. lard from free foraging hogs
- 1 C. organic whole wheat flour
- 2 medium onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 serrano chiles (or other mild peppers), diced
- 2 cans organic diced tomatoes (use fresh if in season)
- 6 C. chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp dry thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp homemade fatalii pepper sauce or other hot sauce
After the chicken is done, add the rest of the flour to the hot oil and cook about 5 minutes to make a nice medium dark roux. Add the chopped veggies to this and cook another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 45 minutes. While it's simmering, make some rice to soak up the juices.
The only part of this that gave me trouble was boning the chicken. I've been working hard on my knife skills for over a year, and I can chop veggies like a ninja. Put me in front of a chicken, and it all falls apart. I think it took me a good half hour just to get the bones cut out of that thing. Anybody out there have a secret tip that makes this quicker?
I also made this great kale recipe as a side. I substituted toasted sesame oil for half of the oil, and it came out really good (and EASY!).