This past week was the beginning of Mardi Gras, starting with Fat Tuesday. During this time of the year I always seem to have Andouille Sausage on the brain. I love good sausage, maybe it’s my German heritage or that it just tastes so darn good. Andouille Sausage is smoked pork sausage which was created originally by the French, who then brought it to Louisiana. This sausage is fully cooked and you can now find it almost anywhere, including your local grocery store.
I prefer to sear my sausage first in a pan, even though it is already cooked because it adds an another level of rustic flavor. I decided to build a stew in my slow-cooker using chicken and Andouille sausage as the protein. I didn’t go with the whole trinity of vegetables (carrots, celery & onions), but just sliced onions and celery for a subtle taste. After simmering for a few hours the broth becomes an amazing mildly spicy liquid that sips up beautifully in a soup spoon. The chunks of chicken, Andouille and vegetables rest on the top of each bowl like a dolphin’s fin peaking from the ocean.
The entire meal is super simple to prepare and the slow-cooker makes it even more so. I think this recipe is perfect for a mellow weekend at home, or if you want to get a little crazy, buy some Mardi Gras beads and invite some friends.
2 half chicken breasts cut in half, skin-on bone-in
4 chicken legs
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 white onion, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound, peeled carrots
steamed hot rice, optional
1/2 cup fresh parsley, optional
- In slow cooker insert or large pot, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. After two minutes, add half of chicken pieces to pot. Sear on first side for 4 minutes, flip over and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and sear remaining chicken pieces. Remove all chicken and set aside. Add sausage to pot and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes.
- Add onions, celery, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper to sausage, stir. Cook mixture for 2 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes, stir.
- Place chicken on top of broth. Add carrots on top of chicken. Place insert into slow-cooker and cook for 4 hours on low heat.
- Remove lid and ladle over hot rice. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired. Enjoy!