Although I was born in Ohio, grew up in Ohio and love our regional cuisine, I did have the opportunity to attend the New Orleans School of Cooking, and loved every bit of it. I love the fact that there is a cooking school, the instructors are great, the demonstrations and recipes are fantastic and the food is so delicious. I learned about Cajun cooking, southern tradition and some terminology that was new to me. One term that stuck in my mind, and is a standard of my cooking too, is the Cajun trinity. Ha, ha, ok I know the Trinity; but, did not know about the Cajun trinity. Wow! Now I know that the Cajun trinity is: celery, bell pepper and onion. It is a beginning for many Cajun dishes.
I do make many of the traditional dishes I learned to make in the classes; however, I did use the techniques I learned to apply to our Ohio cooking too. This recipe is one that I developed, beginning with the Cajun trinity and using more common items we have in Ohio to make a tasty dish. I love the seafood and Andouille sausage that is used in many Cajun dishes, but substituted chicken and our regional sausage for this dish. And, although I love the Cajun spices too, many members of my family do not share my taste for them; so, I have also left them out. Well, at least we all enjoy the Cajun trinity!
Cajun Cooking Ohio Style: Chicken and Sausage over Rice
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup flour
1 can (141/2 oz) diced tomatoes
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup cooked, chopped, chicken breast
1 ½ cup cooked, thick slices, sausage
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Cajun hot sauce or spices (optional)
Hot cooked rice for six servings
Melt the butter, or add oil, in Dutch oven and heat; add chopped bell pepper, chopped onion and chopped celery. Heat over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add flour to pan and heat, stirring until flour is dissolved. Add canned tomatoes (do not drain) and continue to heat over medium heat. Add chopped chicken and sliced sausage. Stir and allow to heat through. Add salt, pepper, parsley, and optional hot sauce or spices. Allow this mixture to simmer as you prepare the rice.
Cook enough rice for six servings, according to package directions.
To serve, place one serving of rice on a plate or in a bowl and ladle the hot chicken and sausage mixture on top. Place a sprig of fresh parsley on top for a garnish.