Watching Emeril Lagasse is what got me interested in cooking. Years ago he had a show, Emeril Live. It was part entertainment and part cooking. Chef’s cooking fascinated me and inspired me to stop eating out of bags or containers. This chicken sauce piquante is one reason why I’ve never looked back fondly at the days when I scarfed down fast food on a regular basis. Nothing I ever had then could even come close to the flavors in this dish. Sure, there are a number of ingredients, and it takes a bit of time, but the end result is layer after layer of incredible rich flavor. Tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and even a bit of heat make for a sauce that was so heavenly I almost forgot about the delicious chicken.
The original recipe for chicken sauce piquante called for a whole chicken, cut into pieces. I prefer thighs so I ended up using boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. In a dish like this one I wanted the extra richness of the dark meat in thighs. And, well, it was easier to use thighs!
Chicken Sauce Piquante
- 12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 medium jalapeno pepper seeded, minced
- 2 cloves garlic minded
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Cooked rice for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Place the chicken into a large bowl.
- Combine the Creole seasoning and flour and sprinkle over the chicken. Toss to coat well.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, remove the chicken from the flour mixture, shaking off the excess and transfer to the skillet. Brown on both sides and transfer to a slow cooker.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the garlic, dried pepper flake, thyme, cayenne and bay leaves and cook another minute.
- Add the tomatoes without any of the juice. Break up the tomatoes with a spatula.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt along with 1/2 cup of the juice reserved from the tomatoes.
- Bring to a simmer and cook another minute.
- Add the sauce to the slow cooker (be careful to not splatter any on yourself since it is hot).
- Cover and cook on low 3 hours or until the chicken is tender but not yet falling apart.
- Remove bay leaves before serving over hot rice, garnished with parsley.