I come from magical place known as Louisiana. A place where friends are family and where the men can often times out cook the women. Herein lies a recipe that encompasses both of these phenomena.
Behold! The mythical Eskimo-Coonass hybrid otherwise known as Pepe Hill. Renowned for his tight embraces, rapier wit, warm personality, and magical cooking skills. The photo above portrays him at his happiest, in his natural environment: smoking grill nearby, natty light in hand, big smile across his face, and those ripped abs just gleaming in the summer sun. Pep is my brother from another mother. Our relationship surpassed the “friend” zone long, long ago and moved directly into family. When this little blog was born, I just knew he had to be a part of it. Pep cooks Cajun dishes from the heart and anything you recreate from his kitchen (or backyard, or whatever random parking lot he happens to be set up to cook in…) is bound to be delicious! Trust me.
Today, you’re getting his world famous Chicken and Sausage Sauce Picante’ recipe. Pepe made this particular sauce picante’ with chicken and sausage but he and any old coonass will tell you it is delicious made with just about any meat, seafood and game included.
Here’s Pepe’s how-to (with photo credit to Melissa Minella and stand-around-and-drink credit to Clay Keown and Erica Hill):
- 1 lb. bacon
- 1 large white or yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 4 toes of garlic
- 4 pounds chicken (white or dark meat, your call)
- 1 pound Cajun smoked sausage
- 3 15-ounce cans of tomato sauce
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- (serve over white rice)
If you are anything like Pep Hill then you will have your ingredients neatly contained when preparing to make your dish. The container is a requirement according to Pep. Pep may be a tad OCD (ask me about how he eats his crawfish).
Cooking outside is not a requirement for sauce picante’ but it sure does make it a lot more fun!! At least this way you aren’t the bitch stuck cooking in the kitchen.
First things first… fry the bacon (1 lb). Because all good meals start with bacon. If you don’t have a cast iron pot, use any heavy bottomed pot.
While the bacon is frying, cut the veggies. Dice 1 large onion, 1 green bell pepper, and 4 toes of garlic.
Cut 4 pounds of your favorite chicken (bone-in, boneless, dark, or white) in one inch cubes. Pep likes to get whatever is on sale because this meal should be cheap AND delicious! Get one pound of Cajun sausage and cut in half inch slices.
Once the bacon is finished frying, remove it from the pot. See, now you have a delicious snack…
Slowly brown the sausage in the most amazing bacon grease on a low/medium heat…
Remove the sausage, set it aside, and add chicken. Don’t brown it, whiten it!
Add about a tablespoon each of Tony’s, salt, and pepper.
Remove the chicken and boil out the extra moisture to get back down to the amazingness of… the grease.
Next up… fry 3-15 ounce cans of tomato sauce over a low/medium heat for about 20 minutes. Stir constantly because it acts like a roux (a bit of a pain in the tail but worth it). It will bubble, pop, and squirt…be prepared.
This is at about 25 minutes. Notice the color change. It also smells much sweeter than it did to begin with.
Time to add the veggies with another tablespoon each of Tony’s, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Once the veggies are finished add the meat and stir.
Add 2 quarts of chicken stock.
Once it comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of roux and stir. Pictured here is what Pep considers to be a tablespoon.
Now, take a big whiff!!
Let that simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over warm rice with a side of warm, buttered French bread.
Thanks, Pepe! We can’t wait for your next guest appearance on The Fizzle! xoxox