CROCKPOT CAJUN CHICKEN, VEGETABLES, AND RICE

CROCKPOT CAJUN CHICKEN, VEGETABLES, AND RICE

INGREDIENTS
Crockpot
  • 1/2 cup (~2-3 stalks) celery
  • 1 small (~1 cup) yellow onion
  • 1 small (~1 cup) green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) stewed tomatoes*
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (breasts will also work)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
Add later
  • 1 cup rice (white or brown)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons white flour
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Prepare the veggies (or buy pre-chopped veggies for an even quicker prep)
  2. Very thinly slice the celery, very finely chop the onion, chop the bell pepper (remove stem and seeds), mince the garlic (or use pre-minced garlic).
  3. Add to the crockpot. Pour the stewed tomatoes (do not drain) into the crockpot and then add the chicken thighs.
  4. Pour the chicken stock (more flavor) or broth (or even water with chicken bouillon) into the crockpot.
  5. Add the cajun seasoning. I use McCormick which is a little more mild than others I’ve used so do this completely to taste preference. We like a full tablespoon, but you may like less or more. Always start with less and add more at the end!!
  6. Add the cayenne pepper, bay leaf, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. (I add about 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
  7. Set to low for 5-8 hours or high for 3-5 hours or until the chicken easily shreds. Every slow cooker is different so watch yours carefully!
  8. About 45 minutes before serving, place a small pot on the stovetop and heat the pot to medium high heat. Add the butter and whisk until completely melted and frothy. (Margarine doesn’t work here.)
  9. Briskly whisk in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding slowly. Whisk until smooth in between each flour addition.
  10. Whisk constantly until a creamy and lightly browned mixture forms (if it clumps you’ll need to start again). Lower the heat and allow to slightly thicken. Carefully add to the crockpot (it sizzles when added, so do it slowly!)
  11. Remove the chicken and shred. Return to the crockpot.
  12. Meanwhile, in the same pot used to make the roux, prepare the rice according to package directions.
  13. Either add the cooked rice with everything else or serve separately. (I like separately so leftovers don’t get “soggy”)
  14. Remove the bay leaf, add more cajun if desired, and some salt and pepper. Enjoy!
NOTES
*I use stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano.

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