Cajun Food Recipes

Classic Cajun Food Recipes You'll Fall Insanely in Love With

Cajun food, with its own unique and distinctive flavor, has managed to captivate the hearts of people all over the world. This article lists some of the tastiest recipes that you can try at home.
The Cajuns settled down in the swampy marshlands to the south and west of New Orleans after being unfairly treated by the French Aristocracy. They were then forced to adapt their recipes to include the seafood and game meats available in the area and only the ingredients that could be grown in the swamps.

The most common of all these ingredients are oysters, shrimp, crawfish, turkey, alligator, duck, chicken, pork, and turtle―shrimp and crawfish being the most popular. All these dishes are generally served with rice, which is a staple of the Cajuns. Most of these dishes use bell pepper, onions, and celery, which are usually sautéed together. The combination of these three vegetables is called the 'Cajun trinity' and is used in many of the recipes. Most of these dishes also contain a roux, a thickening agent which is a mixture of flour and oil cooked to the desired texture and color. Vegetables, meat, and spices are added to the roux.

Étouffée is a very popular dish. It is usually made of different types of seafood like crawfish, shrimp, and crab meat. Gumbo and Jambalaya are also two very popular Cajun dishes.

Crawfish Étouffée

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup margarine or oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2½ cups rich shrimp broth
  • ½ cup crawfish fat
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb crawfish
  • 2 scallion tops
  • Cooked rice
Procedure:

Start by making a medium dark roux. Whisk the flour with the oil over a medium flame, and stir constantly until the mixture turns a rich chocolate color. Mix in the onions, garlic, and celery, and then sauté this over a medium flame for about ten minutes until the vegetables become tender. Next, pour the shrimp stock and then bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and stir in the lemon juice, spices, and crawfish fat. Add the crawfish, and then bring the mixture to a rapid simmer. Mix in the scallions and lower to a slow simmer for about ten minutes, until the crawfish become tender. Add the seasoning. While serving, put the rice in a mound on the plate and ladle some of the étouffée on top.

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet chicken thighs
  • ½ package smoked sausage
  • ½ bell pepper (chopped)
  • 5 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 3 onions (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2½ cups water
  • 12 oz beer
  • Flour to coat chicken
  • 1½ teaspoons rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
Procedure:

Wash the chicken and the place it skin side down on a platter. Coat the chicken with the cayenne pepper until it turns red. Don't worry about it becoming too spicy; most of the pepper will get cooked into the rest of the dish. Turn the pieces of chicken over and lightly coat the other side. Set aside for 15 minutes to let it soak it up. Heat the oil in an aluminum pot. Season the flour with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder and put it all in a bag. Place a few pieces of chicken in the bag, and shake it well to coat the chicken. Fry the chicken until golden-brown, but not completely cooked. Take the chicken out, and add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot to sauté. Add the thyme, parsley, and rosemary, and then cook for a minute.

Place the slices of sausage, chicken, and a bit of water in the pot, and then mix with the vegetables. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about half an hour. Keep stirring the mixture and make sure you scrape the bottom every now and then to keep the ingredients from burning. Once the chicken is well-cooked, add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Pour the beer and the water and stir again for another couple of minutes. Add a bit of salt to taste. Now, keep the heat on low and cover the pot until the rice becomes tender. Stir the mixture constantly and keep scraping at the bottom of the pot.