Chicken Sauce Piquant


Makes 8 servings


4 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic®
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 (2½ to 3-pound) fryers, each cut in 8 pieces
vegetable oil for frying
1¾ cups chopped onions
1¾ cups chopped celery
1¾ cups chopped green bell peppers
1¾ cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño peppers (see Note)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1¾ cups canned tomato sauce
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Pepper Sauce®
4 cups chicken stock
Hot cooked rice (preferably converted)

How To Prepare

Note: Fresh jalapeños are preferred: if you have to use pickled ones, rinse as much vinegar from them as possible.

In a paper or plastic bag, mix 1 tablespoon of Poultry Magic® into the flour. Remove excess fat from the chicken pieces and sprinkle the remaining Poultry Magic® evenly on the chicken pieces. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour until well coated.

In a large skillet heat ½ inch oil to 350º. Fry chicken (large pieces and skin side down first) until browned and crispy on both sides and meat is cooked, about 5 to 8 minutes per side. Do not crowd. (Maintain temperature as close to 350º as possible, but turn heat down if drippings start getting dark red-brown; don't let them burn.) Drain on paper towels. Carefully pour the hot oil from the skillet into a glass measuring cup, leaving as much sediment in the pan as possible; then return ¼ cup hot oil to the skillet. Turn heat to high. Using a spoon, loosen any particles stuck to the pan bottom and then add the onions, celery and bell peppers; cook until sediment is well mixed into the vegetables, stirring constantly and scraping pan bottom well. Add the tomatoes, jalapeño peppers and garlic; stir well and cook about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the tomato sauce and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Magic Pepper Sauce and remove from heat.

Heat the serving plates in a 250º oven. Meanwhile, place the chicken pieces and stock in a 5½ quart saucepan or large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes. Then stir half the tomato mixture into the stock; cover and simmer over low heat 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tomato mixture, cover, and simmer 8 to 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve immediately over rice.

Lagniappe: "Piquant" to a Cajun means "it's hot and hurts like a sticker in your tongue." If you want less "piquant," reduce the jalapeño peppers by half. Sauce Piquant is enjoyed with such gusto in Louisiana that the town of Raceland has a Sauce Piquant Festival every year dedicated to nothing but fish, meat, fowl and seafood made with variations of this sauce.

Copyright © 1984 by Paul Prudhomme

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