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STS Cookin': Chicken Creole

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I've been on a bit of a Louisiana kick the past few weeks. It probably has something to do with the cold weather out here in St. Louis. It also doesn't help when my parents call and tell me how warm it is down in New Orleans.

In honor of this kick, I decided to try out a new recipe, Chicken Creole. Normally this is a dish known as Shrimp Creole, but one of the best parts of Louisiana cuisine is how easy it is to substitute one type of protein for another. This dish is commonly a roux-based dish with tomatoes, but the version I used is a bit different.

This one is originally based off John Besh's My Louisiana. His version is Vietnamese based and has a nice spicy and sweet note to it. I modified it from there.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Chicken, chopped

1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, diced

1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

2 Celery Stalks, diced

1 lbs. Creole Tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 Bay Leaf

1/4 tsp. Allspice

1-2 tsp. Red Pepper

2 sprigs, Fresh Mint

3 cloves Garlic, minced

2 tsp Lemongrass, minced

1 small can Tomato Sauce (optional)

Instructions:

1. In skillet heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and brown chicken for 10 minutes.


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2. Remove chicken from skillet and add onion, celery, and bell peppers. If needed add more olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent.


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3. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium low.


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5. When the sauce begins to simmer, add bay leaf, allspice, red pepper, lemongrass, and chicken. If there is not enough sauce for your liking, add a small can of tomato sauce.

6. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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7. Chop up the mint and add to the dish, cook for another 2-5 minutes.

8. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. If it is too tangy, add some sugar.

9. Serve over rice.