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Blackened Cajun Chicken with Gumbo Rice

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 3-4 Tbsp ground Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 small white onion finely diced
  • 1 rib celery finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 Tbsp gumbo file (see note)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup okra cut in pieces
  • 6 oz smoked sausage cut into 1/2" coins

Instructions

  • Heat 3 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • While heating, rub 3-4 Tbsp of the cajun seasoning on both sides of the chicken.
  • When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet. Cook until browned and there is a little bit of crust from the seasoning, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken over and cook until there is a browned crust on the second side as well, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • To the same skillet, add an additional 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • When heated, add the onion and celery. Cook until translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, bay leaf, brown rice, gumbo file, 1/2 Tbsp additional cajun seasoning, and red pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add the stock, okra, and sausage coins. Stir to combine. Add the chicken back into the skillet.
  • Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked completely through and the rice is tender with most of the moisture absorbed. The exact time will depend on how dry your rice is, approximately 30 minutes. Add additional stock if necessary.
  • Serve the chicken warm on top of some rice.

Notes

This is a mild heat dish.  Add more red pepper or hot sauce to give it some spice.
If the chicken does not fit in the skillet with all of the other ingredients, you can also finish cooking it in the oven at 350F while the rice is cooking on the stove.
Have pre-cooked brown rice? Dinner will be faster!  Simply follow the instructions however use the cooked rice with just 1/2 cup of stock in the skillet.  You cook time will be greatly decreased as you are simply heating the rice through and marrying the flavors.  Make sure you still get your chicken cooked all the way through!
Gumbo file can be found in the spice section of your grocery store, typically near the bottom with the other specialty seasonings.  You can also find it online.