Can you even order Stewed Chicken in New Orleans? While doing some online research, it’s impossible to find a restaurant that serves this amazing chicken dinner.
If you’re not familiar with New Orleans style Stewed Chicken, Tom Fitzmorris, a New Orleans food writer, described it perfectly by saying that it’s “sort of like a chicken gumbo but with bigger pieces of chicken and less broth.” Fitzmorris also tells that stewed chicken is a lost lunchtime favorite throughout the Crescent City. He says that “unfortunately, it’s slipping away from us.”
I was curious if the meal was actually slipping away from everyone.
I did an unscientific poll on Facebook asking if anyone still makes the chicken meal at home since restaurants don’t seem to be making it. The recipe is not in many cookbooks. In fact, the only cookbook that I have that has stewed chicken is Fitzmorris’s New Orleans Food Cookbook – so I wasn’t expecting much of a response.
Overwhelmingly people came to the defense of Stewed Chicken! Some say they make it every other week, others say it’s their most requested meal to make! I believe it.
There is a similar version of Stewed Chicken that more people probably have heard of: Chicken Fricassee. This French comfort food is a one-pot dish of chicken braised and sautéed with vegetables in a rich, silky light-colored sauce. And with the huge influence on the food and culture of New Orleans from the early years of France controlling New Orleans, this dish made its way into the kitchen of restaurants and homes and then altered throughout the years by the Creole cooks.
It might be a lost dinner or lunch at a restaurant in New Orleans, but it’s still on the home cooks menu. When you make this recipe, you’ll understand what Fitzmorris was saying about it tasting like a gumbo. And like a gumbo, the amazing smells linger in the house for hours. The aroma of bacon as the fat heats up, the chicken sautéing, the familiar smell of a roux. This dinner triggers plenty of cravings. The smells are not the only part that lingers around, there’s also the flavors that hit the taste buds. The brown gravy and fall-off-the-bone chicken is something special.
Have you found Stewed Chicken at a restaurant in New Orleans? If so, please share that in the comment section below. If you’ve made this recipe, tell us what you thought about it in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
- 1 lbs drumsticks
- 1 lbs thigh
- 2 tbsp bacon fat
- 1 tbsp parsley flakes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup bacon fat
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 8- oz can of sliced mushrooms drained
- 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
- Tabasco Sauce
- Salt and Pepper for taste
- Cooked Rice
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and sage.
In a dutch oven, melt the 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
Mix each of the chicken pieces in the small bowl of seasonings so each piece is lightly covered.
Once the bacon fat is ready, brown the chicken pieces in batches until all the pieces are done. It takes about 3-4 minutes per side... set the browned pieces aside.
In the dutch oven, heat the 1/2 cup of remaining bacon fat. Slowly add the flour and make a dark chocolate roux. Once the color of the roux is set, remove the pot from the burner and add the onions, green bell pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper, dried thyme and garlic. Keep stirring until the vegetables have softened - about 5 minutes.
Put the pot back on the burner, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once the pot reaches a boil, add the chicken back to the pot, cover slightly and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 60 minutes.
With 5-10 minutes left, add the mushrooms, green onions and Tabasco Sauce. Here you can also check the flavor and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, place the cooked rice on a plate with a couple pieces of the chicken. Pour some of the gravy over the rice and chicken. Enjoy the fall off the bone chicken!
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Keep the red beans cookin’!
Eric Olsson is the food blogger of RedBeansAndEric.com. He publishes new recipes and interviews weekly. He has developed recipes and written articles for the famous Camellia brand in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been mentioned in Louisiana Cookin‘ magazine and has had recipes featured in Taste of Home magazine – with his Creole Turkey recipe being runner up in their annual Thanksgiving recipe contest. He lives outside of Detroit, Michigan, with his wife and four children.
Eric, Love the flavors of this Stewed Chicken, but I am not a fan of dark meat. How would I adjust the cooking time if I used breast and wings? Many thanks.
Red Beans & Eric
Hey, Gail! I’d probably keep the cooking time the same but keep checking the chicken. You want to internal temp at 140. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Thanks!
AWESOME! Thank you Eric. I think I’m going to make this for Sunday dinner. It’s been a challenging day and I need a little bit of Nola to lift my spirits.
Red Beans & Eric
Be sure to let me know how it comes out!
Eric, Sorry for the delayed response. Haven’ made the chicken has planned, but will surely let you know the results when I do. It’s rainy and muggy in NYC this week, so I think there’s definitely a little New Orleans comfort food in my future. Thanks again.
Question is the chicken done with the skin or skinless?
Red Beans and Eric
Hi, Dexter. I cook it skin on but you could do it either way. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Thanks, I prepared the dish before some years ago, but could not remember which way i did it. It was delicious! I am making it for a family New Years gathering on tomorrow.
Hi Eric, gonna try your receipe for tonight’s dinner. I lived in New Orleans during the late 1980s and had the opportunity to have several meals at a restaurant named Che Helen’, and absolutely loved Chef Austin’s stewed chicken
Thank you for posting your receipe. My best regards to you. James
Red Beans and Eric
I hope you enjoyed the recipe, James. Chef Austin is great. I’ve never been to his restaurant but I do have a couple of his cookbooks. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!
Hello Eric, thank you for your response, your receipe is awesome, made stewed chicken last night and it was well received by my family. I look forward to more of your receipes. My best regards. James
Thank you for this recipe. I have been looking to make a stewed/smothered chicken like I used to get at Miss Turner’s Restaurant on Clouet Street, in the Bywater, back in the 1980s when I was going to Tulane. She had the best and least expensive food around. I dont think the restaurant even had a sign out front, just a Barq’s stand alone sign on the corner to let you know that it was an operating restaurant. Some of the best food around.
Red Beans and Eric
That’s a great memory, Samuel! Wouldn’t it be great to go back and see that place once again? I hope you enjoy the recipe! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.
Love the name of this page with the play of the letters, love it! I am definitely gonna make this one day next week when we have company. I do have a question my dad has to steer away from green veggies for medical reason what are some other sides that you might have with NOLA style dishes. Sweet peas used to be my go to with my NOLA dishes, help me out.