Tag: French bread

Cajun Chicken Ragu – An Old and Misspelled Mardi Gras Classic

Many years ago,
at a small neighborhood restaurant in San Francisco, a young cook got to do his
very first menu “special.” It featured pulled chicken, Cajun sausage, and
peppers stewed in a rich, spicy gravy; and was served over grilled French bread

sure what to call it, the inexperienced, but handsome cook described it as a,
“sort of Cajun ragout of chicken,” which made it on to the specials board as,
“Cajun Chicken Ragu.”

Yes, I was that
young cook, and the following recipe is pretty close to that historic dish.
While I did enjoy it over the grilled bread back in the day, a gravy this
awesome really deserves to be served over a big pile of rice. These are the
kind of things you learn as you mature. That, and make sure you spell out your
specials to the disinterested waiter writing the chalkboard.

Anyway, since I’m
not going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (I’m allergic to feathers and drunk
tourists), I thought I’d dust off this old, personal favorite, which while not
totally authentic, certainly celebrates those fabulous Cajun/Creole flavors.

As I mentioned in
the video, this works with any kind of chicken, raw or cooked. As long as you
simmer the gravy to an appropriate thickness, and make sure your meats are fully
cooked, and heated through, you should be in bon shape. I hope you give this a
try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4
large portions of Cajun Chicken Ragu:
6 slices of
bacon, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion,
2 ribs celery,
large pinch of
1 green bell
pepper, diced
1 red bell
pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic,
1 tbsp vegetable
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp freshly
ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp dried
3 cups cold
chicken broth
1 tsp
Worcestershire sauce
8 oz andouille
sausage, sliced
2 or 3 cups
pulled chicken meat
1/4 cup chopped
green onions, plus more to garnish
*check for salt
and seasoning, and adjust at the end!

Million Dollar Chicken – Of Course It Tastes Rich!

This take on the Standard Grill’s famous “Million Dollar
showed me once again that so many of life’s great culinary pleasures
happen when you least expect them. I saw this recipe featured on TV recently,
and chose to try it for two main reasons: one, it’s slathered in crème fraiche;
and two, it’s roasted over caramelized, chicken drippings-soaked bread.

I know, we had you at “slathered in crème fraiche,” but it
was the bread that I was really looking forward to when I pulled this out of
the oven, which is why I was so bummed when I thought I’d ruined it. Since I
got greedy and used an extra slice of bread, and also used a larger roasting
pan, the bread cooked to what would generously be referred to as

Several times during the glazing at the end, I contemplated
tossing them out and simply making a joke about it during the narration, but
I’m SO glad I didn’t. I can’t explain why, but not only didn’t it taste like burnt
toast, it truly tasted fantastic. For purely aesthetic reasons, I’ll
encourage you to use a smaller roasting pan, which will better insulate the
edges of the bread, but I wasn’t exaggerating when I described just how great
it really was. I promised to stop using the word “unctuous,” but it actually
seems appropriate here.

It was so saturated with chicken fat, caramelized juices,
and crème fraiche, that the bitterness from the darkest parts of the bread
seemed to balance the richness somehow. The point is, if mine was good this
dark, one shade lighter should get you even closer to million dollar chicken
nirvana. I hope you give this “rich” combo a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
4 1/2 pound whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic (original recipe calls for adding a few cloves of garlic in the cavity with the herbs and lemon – I didn’t, since I had included garlic in the last twelve things I’d eaten, and was taking a break, but feel free to add!)
olive oil, as needed
3 thick slices day-old French bread (I used sourdough)

For creme fraiche glaze:
1 cup creme fraiche
1 zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon grated shallot puree
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

– Cook at 450 degrees F. for one hour, then glaze, cook for
10 minutes, and repeat until chicken is done. (Note: If you use a different
size chicken, you’ll obviously need to adjust your times. Cook until internal
temp in thickest part of thigh is 165 degrees F.)

– The original recipe from the Standard Grill in NYC calls for finishing with Maldon sea salt. I didn’t, but that always a nice option.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Melted Cheese and Caramelized Onions

I wish this photo could capture how delicious this sandwich is. I made a few attempts at photographing this, but the photo can’t capture how sweet these caramelized onions are and how perfect they taste with yesterday’s leftover garlic infused roast beef[1] and melted Swiss cheese.

Father’s Day is coming up and I’m trying to think of dishes that would make Dad happy. For those of you who are Pinterest obsessed[2], I made a Skinny Father’s Day board[3] and pinned recipes I think Dads would love. My husband loves caramelized onions, I can’t say I blame him. I never
knew just how good they were until I met him; he makes them all the
time. The onions shrink to about half their size when the slowly cook
down, and as they turn golden in color they turn sweet and delicious. They are great over burgers too, I make them with a lot less oil than he does with great results.

I don’t east sandwiches often, maybe once a week. But when I do eat a sandwich, my bread of choice is a fresh baked whole wheat French or Italian bread from the bakery because it’s generally made with no fat and I love a crispy fresh baked loaf.

Roast Beef Sandwich with Melted Cheese and Caramelized Onions
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 8 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 9 pt
Calories: 365 • Fat: 15 g • Carb: 23 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 36.5 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 200 mg (will vary by brand of cheese and bread) • Cholest: 80


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 12 oz leftover garlic lovers roast beef, sliced thin
  • 8 oz whole wheat Italian or French bread, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 oz reduced-fat Swiss Cheese or provolone


Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the oil and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly brown, turning occasionally about 15 to 17 minutes.

Slice the bread open, place 3 oz of cooked roast beef on each piece and top with 1/4 of the caramelized onions. Top with cheese and place in the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to melt the cheese, careful not to burn it.

Makes 4 sandwiches, each have 2 oz bread, 3 oz roast beef, 1 oz cheese and 1/4 of the onions.


  1. ^ garlic infused roast beef (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  2. ^ Pinterest obsessed (pinterest.com)
  3. ^ Skinny Father’s Day board (pinterest.com)

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