Tomato season is just around the corner and I am so excited to make this Chicken Creole again. Wait, chicken? Yeah - I decided to use up some extra Creole sauce when I made my authentic New Orleans Paleo Shrimp Creole on some chicken breasts I had that needed to be cooked. The flavor is so perfect and something I will eat a lot more often than shrimp, since it is hard for me to get high quality shrimp that's affordable - I have to treat shrimp as, well, a treat!
So even though Shrimp Creole is the traditional dish, I think this is a great way to get that authentic New Orleans flavor on a budget. Tell me in the comments - are there any other New Orleans dishes you are dying to see made Paleo? I am thinking I may need to try Jambalaya soon...
This recipe is great for the Instant Pot because you can make the sauce right in the insert to make this a one-pot meal. You can also make it in your slow cooker as long as you have the sauce made up ahead of time or don't mind making it on the stovetop.
Honestly, I see no reason why you cannot just make the sauce by itself in a big batch and portion it out and freeze it so you can put it together as a quick meal when you need it. I plan to do just that later in the summer when tomatoes are plentiful. I may even be able to do it with my own homegrown tomatoes!
So far my first garden (which is done square foot style) is going well - I am an excellent turnip, radish, and lettuce farmer. We will see how things go with tomatoes and peppers. And, *gasp*, I am actually doing a 4x4 "Three Sisters" square foot garden, which if you don't know is a mix of corn, some type of bean, and some type of squash. I am just seeing what happens with this crazy black popcorn I found, paired with green beans and 4 different kinds of squash.
Anyway hope you enjoy this recipe! <3
Paleo Creole Sauce + Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Chicken Creole with authentic gluten-free light roux
This recipe takes the traditional sauce from shrimp Creole and pairs it with chicken for a different take on a New Orleans classic. It features the most perfect light roux made with gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo flour: cassava!
Ingredients for the Creole Sauce
- 1/2 cup (8 TB) butter (substitute lard for dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup cassava flour
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder (more if you like spicy food)
- 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Crystal hot sauce (Tabasco is good too, but I am a Crystal gal through and through!)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes with juice (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup plain tomato sauce
- 1 cup homemade shrimp or chicken broth
Ingredients for Chicken Creole
- 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 batch of Creole Sauce
- optional: 1/2 cup onion sliced into thin strips
- optional: 1/2 cup celery, cut on the bias in thin strips
- optional: 1/2 cup green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- Sliced green onions for garnish
- For the sauce: When working with a roux, espeically a light roux like this recipe, you need to move fast, so it is good to practice the French method of mise en place, meaning, you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking. Chop all of your veggies and measure all of the seasonings out - you can put them all together in a small bowl.
- Melt butter (or lard) in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the cassava flour and use a whisk to break up any clumps. Cook until you achieve a "peanut" roux (light colored), which should only take about 5-7 minutes. The mixture will bubble as the moisture cooks out. Once it stops bubbling, watch VERY closely so you don't burn the roux. It will start to smell a bit like cooked popcorn and become a light/medium brown color. Don't let it reach dark brown/chocolate color. To make the roux in your Instant Pot add the fat when you press "saute" and when it melts add the cassava. Keep an eye on the temp and if it is too hot, reduce it to low by shutting off the IP then starting "saute" again and using the "adjust" to lower the temp.
- Once you have your light roux, immediately add in the "Trinity" - the finely choped onion, celery, and pepper, stirring well to mix. Cook the veggies until they are soft and starting to brown. Stir them and scrape the bottom of the pot frequently.
- Add all of the remaining seasonings, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and stir to combine well. Let simmer about 15 minutes, making sure to keep scraping the bottom of the pot. Add about 1 cup of shrimp or chicken stock, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer for about 10 more minutes. Your Creole sauce is now done! You can use it immediately in Chicken Creole or save it for later use.
- To make the Chicken Creole in the Instant Pot: Add the chicken to the bottom of the pot and pour in the batch of Creole Sauce. Press the "poultry" button. Meanwhile, you can prepare the optional veggies. Saute the onion, celery, and pepper slices in a large frying pan over medium heat, cooking until they are soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot finishes, use two forks to shred the chicken meat. If you prepared the optional veggies, stir them in now. If you want to be super efficient with not dirtying an extra pan, you can actually prepare these sauteed veggies in your Instant Pot before beginning the roux - just store them in the fridge until the dish is done, then stir them in.
- To make the Chicken Creole in a slow cooker add the breasts and the sauce to the slow cooker and cook on high for about 3-4 hours or low for about 7-8 hours. Slow cookers can vary widely in cooking times so adjust as needed for your particular model. Shred the meat once they are done cooking. You can optionally include the sauteed veggies as well - stir them in after shredding the meat!
- Serve with white rice or your favorite rice substitute. I recommend my starchy rice replacement. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives. Enjoy!
These are affiliate links to the very products I trust in my own kitchen. I only recommend products I truly love!