Get two recipes in one with this Slow Cooker Creole Chicken Stew and Creole Beans, perfect for a two cozy Fall meals.
My boys have loved New Orleans cuisine ever since we visited there nearly ten years ago when one of my boys’ teams was playing in the Cal Ripken World Series. Until that trip, they had never eaten Creole or Cajun style food and I was surprised at how readily they devoured crawfish gumbo.
Creole and Cajun cooking is not the same. Although they both start with the same base of onions, celery and bell peppers, Creole cooking uses tomatoes; Cajun does not. Cajun cuisine is more rustic and traditionally relies on a long-cooked darker oil-based roux than the butter-based Creole version.
These two cuisines have completely different origins. Creole cuisine evolved over nearly 300 years in New Orleans, influenced by the French, Spanish, West Africa, the canary Islands and the Caribbean, as well as other parts of Europe. Cajun food, on the other hand, originated in the countryside of southwest Louisiana, where the French colonists of the Acadia region of Canada (“les Acadians”) started settling in the 1750’s.
No matter, Creole or Cajun, we love both because of the full flavors and the spice.
Recently, I made this Slow Cooker Creole Chicken Stew and didn’t want to throw out the extra sauce. After all, it’d been stewing for four hours and was full of flavor – what a waste it would have been to throw out such deliciousness. I stewed beans in the rich flavorful stewing sauce and it made another dinner the other night. You could easily turn this into soup by adding some chicken broth and greens such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard.