I walk in the kitchen. The aroma has now filled the house. It can be smelt from my bedroom. Filled with anticipation, I slowly remove the lid from the cast iron. I smile as I see the red mixture before me on the stove. But, how would it taste I wonder. I purse the wooden spoon to my lips. YAAAS, success! I pause for a second content with my accomplishment. It's as if my life's mission is complete. I’d in my mind almost perfected the quintessential Cajun dish. I mean could you really call yourself a Cajun or a Creole for that matter if you couldn’t make a Sauce Piquante. I chuckle at the name. Not soundin’ how it’d spelt; I never was quite able to explain to frans. Even now when I bust out “sauce pee-con” with the con emphasized familiar gazes’ are upon.
Maybe it was the millennial in me and the thought that others needed to see what I’d been up to. But, did it really happen if it wasn’t documented…? I reach for my camera, too proud of my creation not to share. I sigh! There was really only one who’d have cared to see the pics and tasted the dish. The same one who taught me to cook all those many years ago, sometimes times in the late of night and early of mornin’. As I stand barefoot in the kitchen, spoon in hand I wonder if he knew, knew that I’d have a knack for flavors, ingredients. That’d I’d inherit his skill-talent. Alike in more ways than one I could just see him now. He’d pour the sauce before the rice. That’s how you knew a real Southern Louisianan from an admirer he’d always say. The rice to sauce ratio never a problem for him, but no, that’s not what he’d carry on about.
“Not bad Holmes, not bad. But you barely cooked a swallow, just enough to make me mad!” Yes, that’s what I’d imagine him to say if he were still here. I snap a pic or two, a bittersweet smile all the while. I’d been so long I doubt he’d even know what a blog was or why anyone would want to see his creation he unknowingly passed down. I hit publish content with the knowledge that I knew in my spirit he was smilin’ that nontoothed grin goin’, “You done good Holmes. You done good.”
package of chicken breast
chopped yellow onion
green bell pepper chopped
3 bay leaves
8oz of chicken broth
4 tps of butter
1/2 cup of four
salt/ pepper/ cayenne
4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
(I used Slap ya Mamma)
But Tony C's is fine.
1 /4 cup of olive oil
1/2 can crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of tomato sauce
1. In a large cast iron, perferably a number 8, heat your olive oil. You can use less if ya like but 1/4 a cup is generally a good amount cause it will coat the bottom of the iron.
2. Chop your chicken into bite size pieces and then season' 'em good with whatever Cajun season' you like. I love Slap ya Mama cause it's made in a little country Southern Louisiana Town most of my fam on Daddy's side lives in. The smell reminds me of my childhood. But anyways.
3. Throw the chicken in the iron and cook evenly. While the chicken is cookin', chop your bell pepper-onion- and garlic if you haven't already.
4. Once the chicken is cooked remove and set aside. Now you are gonna cook the veggies. Don't worry about the iron already bein' "dirty". That's how we like it down south. It adds more flavor. Cook the veggies until they start to brown. Once they are brownin' sprinkle a little cayenne, pepper and salt on them. Now, be careful with the salt cause most Cajun seasonings already have salt in them. y'
5. Once the veggies are cooked through and brown remove them. Now, it's times to make your rue.Now my rue is a tad more like a soup rue. Meanin' it's light and not dark. I have yet to prefect the dark rue but since this dish is more Cajun than Creole (meanin' it's tomato base it's ok.) Remember how I showed y'all how to make a rue this post. Well, the conecpt is the same. Place your butter in the pan. Let it melt and brown a little. But be careful not to let it burn. Now add your flour and stir real quick. You don't wan't anythin' stickin' or burnin'. Now, add the chicken broth and stir till your hearts content. Or at least until the mixture starts to form less of a paste and more of a sauce.
6. Throw your veggies back in and stir some more. Now, add the tomato paste, sauce and crushed tomato. Stir some more y'all. I like to add a little more cayenne and ca jun season' here but that's optional. I grew up eatin' things so spicy I thought my face was gonna fall off.
7. Now, stir in the cooked chicken and 3 bay leaves.
8. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours. I know that sounds like a lot but I promise it's not. You want the flavors to marinate. But not cook so much that the liquid cooks out or the chicken dries out. ya
Serve how like but Daddy as served with a bowl of rice. I saw online the other day some people eat it with noodles. I can hear Daddy now if he saw that. He'd say, "That ain't gonna do nothin' but make ya mad!"
How my Cajun Belles read the blog? Did you grow up eatin' Sauce Piquante.