My mother’s heritage is Cajun – not to be confused with Creole. But she instilled in me the love of well spiced food and more than a little cayenne pepper. Cajuns are known for making the most of every morsel of food at their disposal. Nothing went in the trash that could be put in the stew. I admire that. I’ve tried to embrace that part of my heritage on this blog.
If you don’t know the difference between Cajun and Creole, it is a story of country versus the city. Both cultures are famous for their unique food, which developed like many port cities – the food is a reflection of the many, many cultures that passed through the ports. Some passed by, some conquered, some got shipped home. But they all made an impact on the food.
The Cajuns were generally country folks and their food was made more simply. Creoles were more aristocratic and had more money to spend on spices and exotic ingredients. I’m not sure that pan-fried creole chicken qualifies as exotic. And I doubt either group of people were cooking with coconut oil (I love it at high heat!) But I love the blend of spices. I make it in bulk and keep it in a labeled jar in my cupboard. You can easily buy Cajun or Creole spice blends from any grocer but it is easy to make and you likely have the ingredients in your pantry already. I’ve included the spice blend we prefer at the bottom of the recipe. (We do generally add more cayenne – but I recognize that everybody’s Momma is not Cajun.)
The best part of this recipe – other than being delicious, of course – is that it goes on the table in 30 minutes. And if you line your sheet pan with foil, you will have one pan to wash after dinner. Love that! Needless to say, I pull this out when I know we are going to be pressed for time at night.
If you have any interest in learning more about the difference between Cajun and Creole food, this is a good article. Or you can just ask someone from Louisiana. Just be prepared to sit and listen a while.