15 October 2016

Poulet à la créole

I got an unexpected prize from the vegetable garden a few days ago — four very nice bell peppers that were two-toned. Green, and partly red. What came to mind was Shrimp Creole, a New Orleans dish. The last time I made that was more than 10 years ago. You can make it as spicy as you like, adding cayenne pepper or bottled hot sauce to taste.
I didn't have any shrimp in the freezer, but I did have chicken breasts. So it would be chicken creole, or Poulet à la créole. The first step is to make the creole sauce. It's onion, bell peppers, and celery (the "Louisiana trinity" of flavor ingredients) cooked in oil, with chopped tomato and sliced or chopped garlic added. The first step is to brown the chicken breasts in vegetable or olive oil, and then take them out of the pan when they are pretty much done and set them aside. Cook the vegetables in the same pan.
When the sauce is just about done to your liking, with the peppers cooked as much or as little as you like, add the chicken back in and cover the pan for a few minutes to make sure the chicken is cooked through. One final ingredient we had was some fresh basil growing in pots that Walt brought inside when the weather turned cold outside. You can see I just tossed in a handful of whole leaves and let them collapse into the creole sauce.
When all was said and done, and we were at the table enjoying our lunch, Walt said:  "So what's the difference between this and Poulet basquaise?" Good question. I made that Basque specialty just a couple of weeks ago. It's basically the same thing, but spiced with piments d'Espelette from SW France.

Here's a recipe for Chicken Creole using tomatoes out of a can, just in case you don't have any fresh garden tomatoes.

22 comments:

  1. As far as I know, there is no celery in poulet basquaise. As much as I like celery, I don't put any in it. And no carrots, either :-)

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  2. The celery seems to be the other main difference between the Louisiana chicken creole and the poulet basquaise. Ooh, carrots! I forgot to add them.

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    1. I can't believe you forgot the carrots ;-)

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    2. Don't they say the memory is the first thing to go?

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    3. Don't they say the memory is the first thing to go?

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  3. Sounds good to me right or wrong ingredients for whatever. Easy as well which is perfect. I have some large sardines for dinner tonight wonder what Sardine Creole would be like ? Have a good weekend Diane

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    1. Bon dimanche, Diane. I'd be glad to try the sardines à la créole.

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  4. no carrots in anything Creole that I know of (and I am from new orleans)

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  5. I was teasing CHM. No, no carrots.

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    1. As I was teasing Ken :—)

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    2. We both love carrots, but not necessarily in the same dishes!

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    3. We necessarily like carrots in the same dishes, if your claim that I put them in everything is true. It's just that there are some dishes I like carrots in where you wouldn't put them. Yesterday I read a recipe for bœuf bourguignon attributed to the chef at the Clos de Vougeot's restaurant in Burgundy. It called for two carrots, and there was never any mention of taking the carrots out and discarding them (as so often in French dishes) before serving the meat. And I see photos on Marmiton and elsewhere of bœuf bourguignon with carrots featured prominently. For color? Bourguignon is one dish I don't put carrots in. But then in Paris once I was served a bourguignon that didn't have any mushrooms in it. Serait-ce un exemple de l'évolution des pratiques culinaires en France ?

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  6. My grandfather was a chef. He worked at a place in New Orleans , The Inn of Two Sisters... many years ago.
    My mother , thank goodness, kept his books .. the ones that he would write down a recipe or take a recipe and make changes .. all in his illegible handwriting :) One of his/my favorites was a chicken in a pot dish that sounds and looks much like this.
    I , for no particular reason, have quit eating chicken but this might tempt me :)

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  7. Sorry- correcting myself .. The Court of Two Sisters .. was the restaurant in NO

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    1. Did you grandfather include carrots in his chicken in a pot?

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  8. Do you have a variety of bottled hot sauces in your local stores? In Texas it was always McIlhenny's that was on every table, in every restaurant. In LA it's Sriracha that's everywhere.

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    1. We get Tabasco, Sriracha, and Piri-piri nearly everywhere now. I always bring N.C. hot sauces and BBQ sauces back from the U.S. when I go there.

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  9. "Just in case" you don't have fresh garden tomatoes. You're trying to rub it in, aren't you? ;)

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