Think of this as a lidless stew, or maybe a juicy roast. It took me 10 minutes to prepare, required no fussing while it cooked. It uses an inexpensive cut of meat, standard spice blends, and vegetables you likely already have in your fridge, freezer or cabinet. I can’t say that about many of my dishes. You can change out the seasonings and turn it into Italian Chicken Bake, or French Provencal Chicken Bake, just by switching out the Cajun Spice blend and the sausages for another of your choosing.
Note: You will need an oven proof baking dish or roasting pan that is at least 2.5 inches deep. If you don’t have one, a large dutch oven without the lid, or another deep oven safe dish would work as well. The chicken pieces should fit inside in a single layer.
Creole Chicken and Sausage Bake
10-12 Chicken drumsticks, about 3.5 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces
1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend*
2 Andouille sausages (I used Trader Joe’s Smoked Chicken Andouille), or sausages of your choice.
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350. Sprinkle your chicken legs with salt, pepper and the Cajun spice. Account for any salt that might be in the spice blend and adjust according to your taste. Place legs in baking pan skin side up, spread chopped celery and onions around legs, pour can of tomatoes over and distribute evenly around pan and legs. Cut sausages into 1-1.5 inch chunks and distribute around the pan as well.
Bake in oven, uncovered, for 1.5 hours or until legs are browned at top and tender. In our house, we would serve as is legs in a shallow bowl along with the juices and vegetables. You may also want to add some crusty bread for dipping in the savory juices, or some rice to soak up the goodness.
* You can purchase prepared Cajun spice blends in most grocers. McCormick is a good commercial brand. I’ve used a blend from Whole Foods and a blend from a famous Cajun/Creole chef (look for one that’s used for fish or chicken).