Chicken Stew, New Orleans Style

Course : Cajun
Serves: 1
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1 bunch scallions -- 6 to 8
2 ribs celery
1 large red bell pepper
4 medium skinless -- boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic -- minced or crushed through a press
14 ounces stewed tomatoes with their juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 drops hot pepper sauce
1 piece bay leaf
1/4 pound kielbasa or other precooked garlic sausage

Preparation / Directions:

1) Coarsely chop the scallions. Dice the celery and bell pepper. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces 2) In a plastic bag, combine flour, thyme and cayenne, and shake to mix. Add chicken and shake to coat lightly. Remove chicken and reserve excess flour mixture. 3) In a large skillet, warm 1 Tbs.. of the butter in the oil over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Add the chicken and cook until it is browned all over, about 7 min. Remove chicken to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm. 4) Add 1 remaining Tbs.. butter to the skillet and heat until melted. Add the garlic and the reserved dredging mixture. Cook, stirring, until the flour is no longer visible, about 1 min. 5) Add tomatoes and their juice, the chicken broth, scallions, celery, bell pepper, hot pepper sauce and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium-heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 min. 6) Meanwhile, dice the sausage. 7) Return the stew to a boil over medium-high heat. Return the chicken (and any juices that have accumulated on the plate) to the skillet along with the sausage, and heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 min. Remove the bay leaf before serving. A few notes: As can be seen above, this isn't a light, heart healthy kind of meal. I don't really know how to fix that other than getting rid of the kielbasa which takes a lot away from the taste. I tend to add more seasoning in the form of both hot pepper sauce and paprika and I tend to cook it a bit longer on the last stage for a better mix of flavo

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