Okra, tomatoes and Cajun seasoning just belong together.
Throw in the trinity — onion, green pepper and celery — some chicken, serve it over rice and voila, you are whisked away for a New Orleans style supper.
My husband went to college there, and we had our first babymoon there, before M was born. Everyone thought I was crazy to go to that city when I couldn’t drink alcohol, but it was still magical.
I fell in love with New Orleans. The food, the music, the culture, it swept me away.
We saw Kermit Ruffins on Thursday night at Vaughn’s and even got the chance to talk with him before the show. I told him I was carrying his next biggest fan. His band played and played, the sound filling the rooms and spilling out into the neighborhood.
We had brunch at the Court of Two Sisters and I seriously took advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet, including my first taste of crawfish.
We walked all through the Tulane campus and Audobon park, as well as downtown.
We ate shrimp po-boys at Mother’s, and even though the standing and waiting in line outside seemed it would never end, it was definitely worth it.
I don’t know when I’ll go back, but I’m already looking forward to it.
In the meantime, this Cajun chicken stew evokes those flavors and somehow makes me feel a touch homesick for a city I’ve never called home.
P.S. When M was about 2 years old, we were in the car and a Kermit Ruffins song came on. She said, “Mommy, I like this.” I smiled, and thought Kermit would be proud.
- 1 1/4 cups brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1-2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic)
- 1 - 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into small chunks and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 cups okra, ends removed and chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (homemade or store bought)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (less if your Cajun seasoning is store bought)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- hot sauce, to serve (optional). We prefer the Louisiana brand called Crystal.
- Cook the brown rice.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
- Add garlic and sauté for another minute, until fragrant.
- Add chicken to the middle of the pan and cook until slightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each.
- Add okra, diced tomatoes with the juices, seasonings, bay leaf, chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of the red wine vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, then taste and adjust seasonings.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve over perfect brown rice. Top with hot sauce, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 445Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1775mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 58g