Make-Ahead Cajun Chicken and Mushrooms

Cajun chicken post 2a

The messiest pages in my 3-ring binder of favorite recipes are those for make-ahead entrees. This working girl would be sunk without them.

A couple days ago, I made this for our mid-week family dinner–an informal affair with our married kids, their spouses and our grandson.  Even though it was my day off, I knew I would be gone all day (my dad is back home–doing OK but needs special attention). It was easy to put together early in the morning, refrigerate, and serve for dinner.

Cajun Chicken and Mushrooms actually gets better after hanging out in the fridge for a few hours.  The flavors mix, meld and marry, producing a wonderful gumbo-like flavor.  The sauce makes a deliciously rich gravy best enjoyed over a pile of long-grain rice. I used a rice cooker with a timer so the rice was ready when I walked in the door.  I even put all the ingredients for dough in the bread machine to make bread sticks but due to the cook’s apparent inability to count to 10, the unmixed bread was still sitting in the bread machine at the end of the day in exactly the same condition as I left it.  Argh-h-h.

browned chicken

Brown chicken pieces in large skillet.

 

roux

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in flour and continue to stir until a rich milk chocolate brown.

 

soften veggies

Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Cook until softened.

Add broth

Simmer for 1 hour.

 

Make-Ahead Cajun Chicken and Mushrooms
 
Chicken and Mushrooms in a gravy based on a roux with Cajun seasonings. A good make-ahead dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • 1 cut-up chicken or 5-6 chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • ½ cup red bell peppers
  • 1-2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups hot chicken broth or hot water
  • 4-6 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 drops hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Parsley for garnish or chop and add for fresh flavor
Instructions
  1. Brown chicken pieces in large skillet.
  2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in flour and continue to stir until a rich milk chocolate brown.
  3. Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Cook until softened.
  4. Add hot water or broth to vegetables, stirring as you go.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, including browned chicken. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  6. Remove bay leaf before serving over rice. Even better served the next day.
Notes
I usually cut up a whole chicken but you could use any chicken pieces you already have or prefer such as boneless, skinless breasts or thighs. You don't have to remove the skin but I wouldn't have it otherwise. Because I used a whole chicken, I had the back and wings leftover to make fresh broth--just boil in a pot of water adding a little salt and pepper.

Related Posts:

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with Instructions for Making Roux in the Microwave

Black and White Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

Roasted Rosemary Chicken with “Instant” Gravy

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

TheKitchenWitch November 12, 2010 at 6:58 am

This one sounds like a keeper! I had to giggle a bit at the bread situation…you were far too organized with your chicken and rice! Something had to break down, right?

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Paula November 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

I love meals that can be made ahead of time too! This chicken recipe is sure to be a favourite of my husbands!

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Margaret November 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

This looks delicous. In Louisiana lots of dishes begin with, ‘first you make a roux’ which is exactly what you did with the butter/flour. Gotta be good with that.

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naomi November 12, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Paula, this looks fantastic! Wow, so hearty. I’m laughing because I have done the same thing with my bread maching.

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Sandy November 12, 2010 at 11:24 pm

With the weather getting colder I am ready for this recipe. It’s nice to have something new to try and from a source you know you can trust to share only the best. I will be adding a couple of items to my grocery list tomorrow. I think this might be good with left over turkey too.
I hope your dad continues to improve. Blessing to you all.

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit November 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm

You had me at “make ahead!” This looks fabulous!

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Karen November 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Woohoo, Cajun chicken with the holy trinity of celery, onion, and bell peppers!! Your roux looks perfect, Paula. Glad to hear your dad is back home! :-)

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peggy November 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I was just thinking of Cajun food this weekend. I will definitely have to give this a try.
Glad to hear your dad is doing better.

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Kristi Kearl February 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

We had this dish for dinner last night, and it was great! A nice change of pace from what we are used to. I liked the unique flavor.

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june February 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

OK, so technically it is a gumbo…sort of. What you actually made is a chicken fricassee’ (freak-ah-say). Comfort food for any cajun. Minus mushrooms add potatoes you have something really authentic. You can easily substitute shrimp for the chicken, but put it in at the end until it turns pink.

A gumbo would be made exactly the same way, minus the mushrooms, more meats added, more roux, and more water. No okra please – that’s so totally creole and not many cajuns would ever do that. If you want to thicken add small amount of file’ to your OWN bowl, not the pot.

Reply

Paula March 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

Hi June,
What an interesting comment! Minus mushrooms (which I adore so I’ll have to think about that), plus potatoes? That sounds so fantastic. And never thought of shrimp. Yes, yes, that sounds good too.

I am no expert on this kind of food, as I said on the post, but our family loves okra in our gumbo, so I guess we are totally creole. And I never heard of putting file’ in just the bowl but that makes sense too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write. pr

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Milli December 14, 2014 at 12:01 am

I don’t have a Dutch oven, can I just use a large pot?

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Paula December 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Yes, Milli.

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Gigi December 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I am in the process of making this now… when I added 1/2 cup of flour to 1/4 cup of butter the result was a dry crumbly mess, not the smooth sauce you have pictured… are you sure the measurements aren’t backwards?

Reply

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