Shrimp Creole

Feeds about 8 hearty eaters, preparation time 40 minutes (precook chicken and shrimp while cutting veggies), final cook time about an hour

by Florence Coe, Chuck Coe, and Sharon Coe 2/22/20

Ingredients

  • 5-6 strips of bacon
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, diced small
  • 1 lb (2 long links) cajun sausage (or hot Italian sausage)
  • 4 stalks celery (sliced into 1” pieces)
  • 4-6 bell peppers (sliced into 1” pieces
  • 2-3 large, sweet onions (sliced into 1” pieces)
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless dark-meat chicken (precook)
  • 2-3 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp (precook)

Flavorings

  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme (fresh preferred)
  • 3 tsp fresh basil (or 1 tsp basil flakes)
  • Chili powder to taste (about 3 tsp+)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (about 1-2 tsp+) (red pepper, paprika, and white pepper can be used in addition)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Directions

  1. In the bottom of a large stock pot, place about 5/6 strips of bacon along with 4-6 cloves of garlic (diced small) and two links of Cajun Sausage (hot Italian sausage can be substituted). Sauté together on high heat coating all with bacon drippings to prevent burning (start bacon first).

  2. Add celery, onions, peppers, (and mushrooms midway through this step if desired). Sauté an additional 15 minutes after contents are heated. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

  3. Add tomatoes, sugar (optional), and spices, bring to temperature, and sauté about 10 minutes more.

You can pause here, and store overnight. The flavors will mix well if this is done, but it is not necessary.

  1. Add precooked peeled, deveined shrimp and (optionally) precooked, skinless, boneless dark-meat chicken. (Most recipes leave the tails on the shrimp which makes it harder to eat but adds flavor to the stock.) Bring to temperature and simmer for 5 minutes to incorporate the flavor of the shrimp and chicken., Finish with a few tablespoons of vinegar for the last minute or two of the simmer. Serve over rice with fresh parsley on each dish.

This is not generally an extremely spicy dish unless you really pile on the chili powder and pepper, or use chili peppers or jalapeños instead of some of the bell peppers.