Sunday, May 4, 2014

Chicken Sauce Piquant and Cajun Snap Beans

If you are not familiar with sauce piquant (pronounced pee-cawn), it is a red gravy flavored with the trinity of Cajun cooking, onion, celery and bell pepper.  It's tomato-based, has a little spice to it and is served over rice.  It can be made with a variety of meats, including alligator or turtle.  When I was little, a lady at my church used to make alligator sauce piquant for our potluck dinners.  (It's not weird when you grow up with it)  It was amazing!  But, today I made it with chicken.  I also made my Mama's green beans, which we call "snap beans" because when the old folks grew their own beans, they would sit and snap the ends off to prepare them for cooking.  I use canned beans for convenience, but the name has stuck.  They're still snap beans to me.

Here's how I made them:


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or use 3-4 lbs of thighs or legs)
2 TBS oil
Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper & hot sauce to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 TBS flour
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 TBS sugar

Heat oil in a large pot.  Season chicken with Cajun seasoning.  Brown chicken well on both sides.  Do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot.

Once browned, remove to a plate.  Drain all but 2 TBS of the fat in the pan.  (You can remove the skin from the chicken to keep the gravy from getting too greasy).

Saute onion, celery and bell pepper in the fat for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes.

Add stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and sugar.  Season to taste with Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil.

Return the chicken to the pot.  Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice.

This dish is so good!  The chicken is tender and full of flavor.  The gravy is savory with a hint of spice.  Perfect over rice.  Delicious!

Now, the snap beans.  My Mama made these all the time and they are my very favorite vegetable. (How can you go wrong when you add bacon?)


1 can cut green beans, drained
3/4 c water
2 strips bacon, chopped
1 medium potato, diced
1/4 of an onion, diced

Fry bacon pieces until crisp.  Add potatoes and onion.  Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes.  Add drained green beans and water.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

This is so easy but it tastes like it cooked all day.  You can double or triple this simply if you've got a lot of mouths to feed.

So, now you know what sauce piquant is and how easy it is to make.  Try it with chicken or if you're really adventurous, and have access to it, try alligator.  It's fantastic, plus you can freak all your friends out.

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