Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Red Beans and Rice (with Manchu Fried Chicken)

As you know, I have completely embraced New Orleans culture and cuisine since I moved down here half a year ago. And since then, I have eaten red beans and rice on a weekly basis. It's such a simple, hearty, and filling meal, and it makes Mondays way more bearable.

Because I am a nutritionist, I couldn't help but make a healthier version of red beans and rice. Instead of the boiled ham and smoked pork sausage, I opted for a way leaner chicken and green onion sausage. And you know what? Like my quinoa shrimp mirliton, the flavor is all still there. So do yourself a favor and have some red beans and rice next Monday (which happens to be LUNDI GRAS!).

Red Beans and Rice (serves 4-6)
1/2 lb red kidney beans, soaked 8-12 hours
1/2 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup green bell peppers, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 tbs canola oil
6 oz Cajun chicken sausage
6 cups water 
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Cajun spice (I used Slap Ya Mama - hot)
2 cups brown rice, steamed

1. In a large pan or pot, brown chicken sausage in canola oil
2. Once browned, remove chicken sausage from the pan and sautee the onions, bell pepper, and celery in the drippings
3. Add the beans, water, sausage, and spice into the pot. Simmer on low-medium heat for 2 hours or until it becomes a creamy consistency 
4. Mush beans against the side of the pot
5. Serve with steamed brown rice

And honestly, nothing goes better with some good red beans and rice than fried chicken. So today I drove out to North Claiborne and Esplanade to Manchu Food Shop to pick up some wings. And really, those wings were good and definitely well worth heading up to Treme for. To be honest, they remind me a lot of Hong Kong McWing's. It's the peppery seasoning that it's fried in. I must've rolled in there at 3pm, and the front was packed with cars. 8 wings with fried rice for $5. What. Also, it was the fastest food service I have ever received in New Orleans. Just saying.

Manchu Food Store
1413 North Claiborne Avenue
New Orleans, LA

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