This week I am sharing a recipe favorite: Bayou Chicken!
After working at Nottoway for 30 years, my dad felt settled and happy there. Then it happened: Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina had detrimental effects on the entire state of Louisiana. Our home in Plaquemine sustained light damage (nothing like New Orleans), many people were without power for quite some time, and the state was not the same for years. Also, during Hurricane Katrina, my Granny (Johnny Jam’s mom) fell ill and passed away. 2005 was a trying time for my family.
One way Katrina affected my family was its negative effect on tourism in Louisiana, and to Nottoway, and my parents found themselves at a fork in the road. They felt it was time to move on to their next endeavor.
Being from Thibodaux, my dad felt compelled to move back there after living in Plaquemine for 30 years. After all, his entire family was there, in addition to his life-long friends, as well as both of his children who had moved there for college (Geaux Colonels!) My mom loved Thibodaux and was in agreeance.
My dad took a leap of faith and opened a restaurant in the in the country club in Thibodaux, dubbed Johnny Jambalaya’s Bayou Bistro. There, with his talented staff, he served up memorable dishes, had incredible musical entertainment like Dr. John and Luther Kent, and created fun memories for all who were involved. One of his most popular dishes that I’ve been asked to recreate is Bayou Chicken! This dish was simple, but flavorful, and it kept many customers coming back. I hope you enjoy it!
Here we go!
Music pairing: Tab Benoit (any blues will do, but he is one of my favorites!)
Wine pairing: Concannon Conservancy Crimson & Cloves (I found this at Rouses)
4 Chicken breasts (I use organic chicken breast from Rouses. I like the ones that are thinly sliced, my husband likes the bigger ones. They are all juicy and delicious)
Johnny Jambalaya’s herb dressing and marinade
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 slices of bacon
4 slices of pepperjack cheese
Preheat oven to 375
Marinate chicken breast in Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade, enough to evenly coat chicken breast. I marinate chicken overnight.
Take chicken out of fridge about 1 hour prior to cooking.
In a skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, saute onion and bell pepper in the oil, until soft and slightly carmelized. Set aside.
In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil on high heat. Once hot, add chicken breast and sear. (I seared the thinly sliced chicken breast for 2 minutes on each side, and the larger chicken breasts for 4 minutes on each side).
Once chicken breasts are seared, turn off heat, add a slice of bacon (Cut in half to fit) to the top of each chicken breast, and put in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Take the chicken out, top with onion and bell pepper and sliced pepper jack cheese. Return to oven and allow the cheese to melt.
Once cheese is melted, take it out the oven and serve with garlic green beans. (recipe below)
Lagniappe Side dish!
Garlic green beans:
It’s hard for me to write this one down. There’s no science to it really. It’s super simple and great any night of the week!
Fresh Green Beans, rinsed, and ends snapped off
6 cloves garlic, minced
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add green beans (I added about 3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans) and saute in the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Once green beans are softened, add minced garlic. Stir in, letting garlic become aromatic. Once green beans are to desired softness (I like them a little crunchy, my husband likes them smothered), add soy sauce, about 2 turns of the pan. Stir to combine. Serve aside Bayou Chicken or use as simple side dish for any meal!
I hope you guys enjoy this simple, yet delicious recipe! Cooking the bacon on top the chicken, in the oven makes for a juicy, and delicious chicken breast! My dad loved this one