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Cajun Chicken Quarters w/ Dirty Rice

Cajun spiced chicken quarters served with spicy pork sausage dirty rice and smothered in a creamy white wine crawfish sauce.

I don’t know, it’s something about chicken quarters that makes me wanna go big! For such a cheap cut I always find myself doing fun things with them and a lot of experiments. Initially I was going to stuff these quarters but last minute I decided to tone it back a little. Yes, reread that last sentence then read the description this is me dialing it back.

So for this recipe I decided to use chicken leg quarters. Not something I naturally gravitate towards to since I prefer breasts but they looked so great I couldn’t pass them up. For the unfamiliar chicken leg quarters are literally a quarter of the chicken. Here in Texas it refers to the dark meat the drumstick and thigh still attached. It’s often seasoned up and tossed onto a pit for smoking. I like to use them other ways too like shredding them for sandwiches and tacos , roasting them for salads and light pastas and even just frying them whole and throwing hot vinegar on the top.

Today I decided to go one of my favorite routes and that’s with a creamy crawfish sauce. Once I put the crawfish in the basket I knew something was going to be smothered with it. This recipe actually used to be one of my favorites as a kid that I’d always get at my favorite seafood restaurant. When I got older is when I decided to take a crack at it and I haven’t looked back since. This recipe will surely be a fast favorite. Check out my tips and tricks below for the best Cajun chicken quarters with dirty rice. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think.

TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST CAJUN CHICKEN QUARTERS WITH DIRTY RICE

reduce before the dairy: to make a smooth but also winey cream sauce you need to reduce your stock with the wine after you make the roux that way the acid in the wine wont curdle the dairy once everything starts getting hot.

remove the skin: the skin is tempting i know i literally removed the skin the air fried it for a crispy crunch on the top then totally forgot it. i initially removed the skin because one the cream sauce is added to the top the chicken skin looses that crunch almost immediately. when you remove the skin you take out the risk of soggy skin you also give your self the opportunity to really season the meat skin you’ll be able to get past the skin.

don’t get overwhelmed: this recipe can look like a lot but it totally has some do ahead. you can easily make the dirty rice ahead of everything else and reheat it when it’s time to serve. the chicken can also be done ahead and later be reheat if kept separately from the sauce.

change the protein: so this is a pretty standard dish where i’m at but it often comes with blackened fish like catfish, tilapia and my personal favorite mahi mahi! So change it up if you like. this dish is really versatile.

blackened and burnt: i chose not to necessarily blacken this chicken although you totally could. It just needs a little higher heat. i kept the heat pretty low so that i could make the sauce in the same pan without the bitter bits floating around. So be mindful of your heat. the key to blackening is direct high heat to form a nice char color but the food shouldn’t be over directly smoking heat where the temp is too high and it burns the spices.

SIMILAR INGREDIENTS TO:

  1. SOURDOUGH STUFFED BLACKENED SALMON W/ CRAWFISH MUSHROOM SAUCE
  2. SHRIMP AND CHICKEN ETOUFFEE
  3. DIRTY RICE STUFFED ONIONS

ENJOY THIS RECIPE WITH:

  1. CLASSIC JAMBALAYA
  2. GRILLED SHRIMP W/ CAJUN BUTTER
  3. CAJUN CHICKEN WINGS IN HOT BUTTER

INGREDIENTS

CAJUN CHICKEN QUARTERS

  • 4-6 Chicken Quarters
  • 1Tb Cayenne Pepper
  • 1Tb Black Pepper
  • 1Tb Garlic Powder
  • 1Tb Onion Powder
  • 1tsp Gumbo File
  • Salt

DIRTY RICE

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, small diced
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, minced
  • 8oz Pork Sausage
  • 4 oz Chicken Livers, minced (optional)
  • 1c Jasmine Rice
  • 2c Chicken Stock
  • 1Tb Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1tsp Thyme, chopped
  • 1tsp Gumbo File
  • 1tsp Black Pepper
  • 1tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1Tb Parsley, minced
  • 3 Green Onions, thinly sliced

CAJUN CREAM SAUCE:

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, small diced
  • 8oz Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2Tb Butter
  • 4Tb Flour
  • 1c Dry White Wine
  • 1c Chicken Stock
  • 2c Half and Half
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 10oz Crawfish Tails, precooked
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1tsp Thyme
  • 1tsp Gumbo File
  • 1/2c Monterrey Jack Cheese

DIRECTIONS

MAKE RICE: Make rice by browning the sausage and chicken livers. Cook and finely crumble the sausage till it’s no longer pink. Add in onions, celery, peppers, and garlic. Sweat the vegetables till they become more fragrant and are lightly colored. Add in the rice and toss in with the rest of the mixture. Add in chicken stock and season the pot. Boil for 8 minutes uncovered then cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Once done adjust seasonings, add in parsley and green onions.

SEASON CHICKEN: Combine all the seasonings listed above excluding the salt. Season the chicken leg quarters generously. Then liberally season with salt. Heat up a large pan add in olive oil and sear chicken over medium high heat brown the chicken on both sides. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and finish in the oven for 15 minutes at 400F or until the juices run clear.

MAKE SAUCE: In the same pan you seared the chicken remove some excess oil and add in 2 Tb butter. Add in mushrooms, yellow onions and garlic cloves and start to sweat them for about 3 minutes. Cover in flour and roll stir it around till its coated everything in the pan. Add in chicken stock, bay leaf and white wine, whisk and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add in half and half and continue to simmer till sauce is slightly thickened. Start to season your sauce with thyme, garlic powder, gumbo file, black pepper, and salt. Once sauce is seasoned and thickened . Remove from heat and add in crawfish tails, and Monterrey jack cheese.

ENJOY: Plate this dish up with a generous serving of dirty rice at the bottom, then a crispy chicken leg quarter followed by scoop of crawfish sauce. Serve over the side a slice of lemon, extra parsley and some green onions. Enjoy!