Everyone loves a simple one (or two) pot dinner. This one doesn’t disappoint. Technically, we used a pan to brown the chicken and our trusty dutch oven to meld all the flavors together. You could use only the dutch oven for this recipe, just be sure to clean it out after you cook the chicken. The Beard felt inspired to make a gumbo/stew style dinner after we had City Barbeque last night. He has a tendency to eat something delicious at a recipe and then immediately want to recreate the meal. I don’t hate this tendency.
Even though I always say this; make sure you prep all of your veggies and spices before you start cooking this recipe. Otherwise, you are going to have to chop a bunch of celery, then add it to the pot and then chop some peppers, so on and so forth. No one wants to do that and they will all cook different which is weird. We only used a teaspoon of cayenne pepper but if you like your cajun chicken a little spicier, feel free to add another 1/2 teaspoon or more. Just be careful not to overdo it, spices can sneak up on you.
We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs but you can definitely substitute chicken breast in this dish. The end result will have chunkier pieces rather than a pulled chicken texture. Whatever style floats your boat.
After you cook the chicken, just let it hang out in a bowl for a bit while you prep the roux. The Beard used a little bit of a different technique with this roux by cooking (and stirring) for about 30 minutes instead of the typical 3-5 minutes.
Once it’s nice and ready, it should look like a creamy peanut butter. Which is kind of weird but also kind of delicious when it makes it to the end result.
After they are nice and softened and all the spices are added, you can toss in the water and chicken stock. Keep stirring the deliciousness until it starts to boil.
This is when the yummy part starts happening. You’ll add in the chicken and let it do its thing. While your cajun chicken is starting to stew, you can begin to cook the rice so it’s ready when your stew finishes up. Feel free to use white or brown or maybe even some purple rice if you are feeling crazy.
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- Chop all veggies and set aside.
- Salt and pepper the chicken thighs.
- Heat dutch oven and lightly spray with oil so chicken doesn't stick. Cook chicken thighs in batches to make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Brown the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat.
- Remove chicken and set aside in a bowl with the cooking juices. Rinse out dutch oven and dry well.
- Add oil and flour together to make roux. Stir continuously for about 30 minutes, until it reaches the color of a darkened peanut butter.
- Add all of your chopped veggies and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally as to not burn or stick together.
- Add paprika and stir to combine.
- Add water and chicken stock and stir until stew starts to boil.
- Add chicken and juices to stew.
- Cook uncovered, stirring, for 45 minutes to an hour or until desired thickness.
- Ladle over rice or favorite grain and enjoy!
- Careful not to burn the roux by constantly stirring. If black specks appear, you'll need to start over.
- I also suggest serving this with some homemade biscuits to add a little Southern twist.