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.
- 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
- Brown chicken pieces in large skillet.
- Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in flour and continue to stir until a rich milk chocolate brown.
- Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic. Cook until softened.
- Add hot water or broth to vegetables, stirring as you go.
- Add remaining ingredients, including browned chicken. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove bay leaf before serving over rice. Even better served the next day.