Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chicken and Andouille Étouffée

It’s almost 100 degree’s outside today and I did not feel like opening the grill and wanted to cook something simple. This chicken and andouille étouffée recipe is an adaptation from the classic French Cajun dish of shellfish served over rice in Louisiana. Instead of the seafood, I have used boneless chicken breasts ,good quality andouille sausages and no hot spices in this recipe; so even ‘no spice connoisseurs’ can enjoy this meal.  This dish can be prepared under 40 mins and this is my ‘go to’ recipe for every time I have unexpected guests over dinnertime.

Andouille sausages are spicy smoked sausages made from pork chitterlings / tripe and mostly used in Cajun dishes like jambalaya and gumbo, its smokiness compliments the light texture from the chicken. I get my andouille sausages from the Whole Food Market, they have a great variety of in house made Smoky Cajun Andouille sausages to choose from.

 You can serve this delicious Chicken and Andouille Étouffée over a warm bowl of plain rice or flat bread, its perfect with a bottle of fruity Pinot Noir from Russian Valley, California.


¼ cup canola oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1 small onion, diced
12 green bell pepper and 12  red bell pepper, diced
2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper and salt
2 cups low –sodium chicken stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
1 Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 12"-thick pieces (about 3 ounces)
2-tablespoon tomato paste


1.Heat oil in a Dutch oven  (2 tablespoon of oil),over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Add flour, whisking constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add celery, onions, and peppers, and cook, stirring constantly, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken stock, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, heat the oil (remaining)in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 4–6 minutes; transfer the chicken. Pour remaining chicken stock into skillet, stir to scrape up any browned bits, and then pour into Dutch oven along with Andouille and tomato paste; cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and serve étouffée with rice.

Yield: 6 Servings
Total Time: 40 min 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chipotle chili rubbed chicken tacos with grilled vegetables

Chipotle chili rubbed chicken tacos with grilled vegetables

Chipotle chili rubbed chicken tacos with glass of  Red Wine (Spanish Grenache)

Chipotle chili rubbed chicken tacos with grilled vegetables

Chipotle chili rubbed chicken  with grilled vegetables

If you are having a quiet afternoon, feel like exploring a new recipe, then try these chicken tacos, you will love the flavors and versatility in this dish. Chicken tacos can be made in many different methods, I like my tacos soft, flavorful and bit spicy.  This version of the recipe is healthier compares to the Authentic Mexican fried tacos packed with cheese and sour cream. Believe me, there are days I do crave for those calorie packed greasy tacos, but when you can alter the recipe without losing the flavors, I would take the healthy option. You can make this recipe at home with left over grilled chicken/ vegetables and some seasoning spices.  

When you rub the chicken with chipotle and cumin powder, not only it adds the heat but smokier flavor to the dish.If you are not used to the ‘heat’, I would recommend to go easy on the Chipotle powder or substitute for Ancho chili powder. The difference between Chipotle and Ancho powder is that they are from two distinctive peppers; Anchos powder is made from dried, poblano and Chipotle powder is from dried, smoked jalapenos. I also added roasted red/yellow bell peppers as well as Brussels sprouts to bring in the sweetness and buttery avocado cream to smooth out the dish.
Now if you are thinking what I am thinking, how to pair this delicious tacos with a good bottle of wine, the general rule of thumb is that spicier the food, the colder and sweeter the wine should be. I would go with Dry Rosé or if you are a red wine fan like myself, Spanish Grenache would be perfect for this dish.
Enjoy these hot and spicy Chipotle Chili rubbed chicken tacos with a glass of wine and let me know how it turns out in your kitchen. 


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips 
3/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
Cooking spray 
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk 
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced 
1/2 cup sliced green onions
 2 bell peppers, seeded, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick strips
4 Brussels sprouts, cut in to half (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canola oil 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with Chipotle chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray.
2. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
3. Place bell peppers and Brussels sprouts on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with canola oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle spice rub over both sides of vegetables and grill it for about 6-7 mins. (Until vegetables are tender) and transfer to work surface.
4. Combine lemon zest, lime juice, milk, avocado in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
5. Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas.
6. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup grilled vegetables mixture.

4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)
Total time: 20 Minutes

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