Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cajun Sticky Chicken

Cajun style sticky chicken, made with boneless, skinless thighs, seared in butter and oil, then caramelized with brown sugar and finished with a rich, trinity enhanced roux.
Cajun style sticky chicken, made with boneless, skinless thighs, seared in butter and oil, then caramelized with brown sugar and finished with a rich, trinity enhanced roux.

Cajun Sticky Chicken

Rouse's Market is my favorite grocery store here, hands down, and they often have the large bags of chicken thighs or leg quarters at a great sale price. Recently, it was the large packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, so I picked them up with this recipe in mind.

You've likely heard of all sorts of "sticky chicken" recipes around the net ranging from the rubbed and roasted, rotissiere style like I have here on the blog, or the ketchup, honey and soy sauce version, and there's even a version with pineapple, something akin to my slow cooker version, along with a wide range of variations.

This version of sticky chicken is more regional to the Deep South and particularly, Louisiana, and a bit different from those others, made from a very rich, almost black, roux-based sauce, built after browning chicken in butter and oil and then some "burnt" sugar - I prefer brown sugar over granulated sugar. It is delicious.

Traditionally, this recipe is made with skin-on, bone-in thighs, though any chicken will work, as will other cuts. Just adjust time as needed for the pieces you use and remember, if you do use skin-on chicken pieces, you will accumulate a lot of chicken fat and need to drain off most of it before proceeding with the vegetables.

I served my sticky chicken, this time with the butter beans pictured, made from a beautiful, large ham bone from the Honey Baked store - yes, y'all, they sell bones and since I don't cook a whole bone-in ham as much as I want to cook with a bone, I pick up bones from there pretty regularly. They're nice and meaty and they sell them by the pound. This one was huge, so I actually made 2 pounds of beans with it.

Here's how to make my Cajun Sticky Chicken.

Heat oil and one tablespoon butter in a heavy, deep skillet or pot over medium high heat. Traditionally this is made in a Magnalite pot and one that has been handed down. Unfortunately, like many things, those are no longer made in the U.S. and while they are available, and they're still a pretty good pot, well, folks with tell you that they are just not really quite the same. Season chicken generously, or to taste, with Cajun seasoning and black pepper.

Quickly sear on both sides; remove to a plate to reserve juices. Deglaze pan with a splash of water and pour over the chicken.

In that same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over low heat and stir in the brown sugar until well combined. Increase heat back to medium high and return chicken to the skillet top (skin) side down.

Cook until chicken is caramelized on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes; remove chicken and set aside; top side up. Add enough water to pan to deglaze and stir in remaining butter to skillet.

Add onion, bell pepper and celery to the skillet, cooking over medium about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Stir in flour, cook, stirring constantly 2 minutes.

Then begin stirring in the chicken broth a little at a time until fully incorporated. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce and thicken; stir in parsley, if using.

Reduce heat to a low simmer, returning chicken to the pot. Turn to coat and leave top side up. Cover and simmer over low for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and reaches 170 degrees F on an instant read thermometer, stirring around a few times to prevent sticking. Add additional chicken broth and reduce heat, only if liquid is reducing too much. Total cook time will depend on the size of the chicken thighs; don't overcook.

Spoon pan sauce over plated chicken. We like to serve this chicken with cornbread, rice and butter beans and a green veggie or salad on the side.

Check out more of my favorite chicken recipes on Pinterest!

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Posted by on March 11, 2015

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