Monday, November 22, 2010

Maque Choux

It's officially feeling like November. We haven't had any snow yet, but I'm sure it is coming. I just hope it holds off until after I get to go home for Thanksgiving. At work we've been gearing up for Black Friday- it will be my first Black Friday actually stepping foot in a mall or doing any shopping. I usually avoid the craziness of that shopping day, but it cannot be helped this year.

At home we did some winterizing this afternoon. It hasn't been too cold yet, but I'm sure when old man winter comes knocking we'll be glad. We have had some blustery days and I noticed the vertical blinds swaying after a few of the strong gusts in our living room. Needless to say, our windows are old and very drafty.  So now we have a cozy home and are in need of something to warm our tummies.

Enter Maque Choux. Not only is this dish stomach warming and filling, the colors of the ingredients and cajun flavors warm everything right up.

Maque Choux with chicken and hot Italian sausage
6 ears corn (I used a package of frozen corn instead)
3 lbs chicken thighs with skin and excess fat trimmed
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 lb hot italian sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium onions, chopped
1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large celery rib, sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pints) halved
1/4 c chopped fresh basil

1. If using fresh corn, cut kernels off cobs and, working over a large bowl, scrape cobs with knife to extract all juices. Discard cobs.

2. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy 8 qt pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown sausage, transferring to a plate. Brown chicken in batches, transferring to another plate.

3. Pour off all but 1 tbs fat from pot, then saute onions, bell peppers, celery, thyme, cayenne and salt to taste over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Add corn with juices and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and sausage.

4. Nestle chicken into mixture and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. If the maque choux is soupier than you like, simmer uncovered until juices are reduced. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced bread to soak up the liquids.

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