Well, today started with snow that turned to sleet. Next came a driving cold rain. And for the really scary part, plummeting temperatures are predicted to result in a flash freeze by late afternoon. This is starting to get really ridiculous. Oh, by the way, schools were closed again today. As a former teacher, that fact still has meaning for me. I really sympathize with the teachers and kids. If this keeps up, school will be in session until July!
While cleaning and organizing a spice drawer, I found an unopened bottle of Penzey’s Cajun Spice. Today, I read a number of recipes, adapted and combined ideas based on what I had on hand, and this is the result. Not totally authentic, but a pretty close approximation.
2 TBS canola oil
5 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound kielbasa, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz. can small diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. Cajun Spice (Martha Stewart’s recipe used Old Bay Seasoning, so that might be an option. Other recipes used chili powder. )
Tabasco (5 shakes or to taste)
1 tsp. Worchester sauce
salt/ freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the oil in a deep sided sauté pan or pot. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sauté them until cooked through.
2. Add the sausage slices to the chicken and cook for a few more minutes until heated.
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan leaving the accumulated oil and juices behind.
4. Saute the celery, onion, and green pepper until soft. Add the garlic at the end. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
5. Add the tomatoes, broth, Cajun seasoning, Tobasco, and Worchester Sauce. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.
6. Add the chicken and sausages. Bring to a boil, then lower to a strong simmer (uncovered) for about 10 minutes.
7. Check for seasoning. Serve in a bowl with a small mound of white rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions. Have extra hot sauce available.
As with any stew or chili, making it ahead of time and re-heating it before serving really hightens the flavor.