- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
- 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 jalapeño or serrano chile, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands, with juices
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Steamed white rice, for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Add the chicken pieces to a large mixing bowl and season all over with the Essence and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Add the flour and mix well until the chicken is evenly coated. Shake the chicken to remove any excess flour, then set it aside on a plate.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and jalapeño to the Dutch oven and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to incorporate the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire, sugar, and remaining teaspoon of kosher salt, and return the chicken to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low, so that the sauce gently simmers. Cook until the chicken is very tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The sauce should be thickened and flavorful. If it’s too thin, continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered, until thickened.
Serve over steamed rice and garnish with the parsley.
*Note: “Piquante” translates as “spicy”! If you’re sensitive to heat, you may want to consider holding back on either the jalapeno, cayenne or the crushed red pepper and adding any of these ingredients to taste.