It’s soup season, Friends! As soon as that chilly air starts setting in here in Southern Pennsylvania, my soul starts yearning for some hearty soups and stews! I love a good bowl of soup and I love it even more alongside a piece a homemade French or Italian bread with some butter on it. My Spicy Cajun Stew that I’m about to share with you is just one of those stews that delivers comfort and warmth on a cool day. It has a delicious collaboration of spices and hearty portions of meat and seafood in it to make you sweat a bit while it fills up your belly. You will love this stew for so many reasons, but the biggest one (aside from its amazing flavor) is that you can throw all of your ingredients in your slow cooker and let it cook for 3 hours to perfection without having to bother with it. PLUS, if you follow a Keto lifestyle, like I do, the simple substitution of 1/2 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum instead of cornstarch turns this into a Keto meal!
For this stew, you’re going to need boneless, skinless chicken thighs, smoked sausage, a green bell pepper, a yellow onion, celery, fresh garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, freshly ground black pepper, cornstarch, chicken broth, frozen shrimp and Himalayan pink salt.
To make this stew, you are going to need a large slow cooker. Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. Remove as much of the fat from your chicken thighs as possible, slice up your smoked sausage, dice up your bell pepper, onion and celery, and mince up your garlic. Place your thighs in the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with your sliced smoked sausage, bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, spices and cornstarch. Pour your chicken broth over the mixture and gently stir to mix all your ingredients and spices throughout. Cook on high for 3 hours or until your chicken falls apart and your vegetables are tender.
Twenty minutes before serving, take your shrimp out of your freezer. Run them under some cold water to separate them a bit. Gently remove all of the tails and add them into your slow cooker on top of your stew. Cover your slow cooker and cook for 20 minutes, or until your shrimp are cooked through. You can also use frozen raw shrimp if you prefer, but when you empty them into your slow cooker you would have to gently work them into the stew to make sure they are covered, and they would have to be cooked about 30 minutes total (or until they are pink and cooked through). When your shrimp are fully cooked, carefully stir your stew to incorporate them throughout. My emphasis is on CAREFULLY, as your chicken will now be very tender and stirring it too hard will shred your chicken into thin strands which changes the whole texture of your stew. Give your stew a little taste at this point and adjust the salt to your liking.
To serve, ladle some of your stew on top (or alongside) of some steamed Jasmine rice and top with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
For a Keto version, substitute cauliflower rice for the Jasmine rice.
Spicy Cajun Stew
This Spicy Cajun Stew is the perfect collaboration of delicious spices and a hearty amount of meat and seafood that warms your belly and comforts your soul.
3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
9 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon cornstarch *
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound x-large frozen shrimp, cooked, deveined, tails removed *
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
Steamed Jasmine rice (or cauliflower rice)
*To make this a Keto meal, simply substitute ½ teaspoon of Xanthan Gum for the cornstarch
*Can also use x-large frozen raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
- Cajun Stew: Remove as much of the fat from the chicken thighs as possible. Place thighs in the bottom of slow cooker. Top with sliced smoked sausage, bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, spices and cornstarch. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture and gently stir to mix all the ingredients and spices throughout. Cook on high for 3 hours or until chicken falls apart and vegetables are tender. Add shrimp in 20 minutes before serving and leave slow cooker on high until cooked through. Salt to taste.
- If using frozen raw shrimp, empty them into slow cooker and gently stir them into the stew to cover them completely (make sure to stir gently, as chicken is extremely tender at this point and will shred into thin strands if stirred too hard, which will drastically change the texture of the stew). Cook for 30 minutes total or until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
- To serve: Ladle on top (or alongside) of steamed Jasmine rice and top with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
- For a Keto version, substitute cauliflower rice for the Jasmine rice.
- *NOTE: To make this a Keto meal, simply substitute ½ teaspoon of Xanthan Gum for the cornstarch