Laissez le bon temps rouler!  Aka “let the good times roll” is frequently heard during Mardi Gras.  It’s a celebration of music, parades, costumes, excitement, and most importantly, food.  Typical food styles are Cajun and Creole.  I have a few recipes to help you get into the spirit and feel like you are in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

First up is Spicy Cajun Chicken LazoneChicken Lazone is a New Orleans favorite and is a combination of Cajun chicken and comfort food.  You start by coating the chicken in a homemade rub.  It’s pretty simple to make so don’t let this scare you.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, dip the chicken into the mixture, and set aside.

Next, you heat a skillet and cook the chicken until done.

Then, make the sauce by adding the remaining mixture to the pan with some heavy cream and allowing to simmer and thicken.

While the chicken and sauce are cooking, boil the noodles according to package instructions.  Stir the noodles into the sauce until fully coated.

Serve by placing the noodles in a bowl and topping with some of the sliced chicken.  Garnish with fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

Next up is Cajun Dirty Rice.  Dirty Rice is usually a rice and meat-based dish with an explosion of flavor.  One thing I learned about long grain brown rice, which is used in this dish, is it takes about 40 minutes to make.  This allows you time to chop veggies and get the rest of the dish together while you wait!  Luckily, I didn’t do any prep work before making the rice, lol 🙂

Start by preparing the rice.  Bring the chicken broth and rice to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Next, chop all your veggies.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook your sausage until done.  Set aside to cool slightly and slice into ½ inch pieces.  I used precooked sausage, so I skipped this step.  Instead, I sliced the sausage and set aside to add with the rest of the ingredients to heat while assembling the dish.

Using the same pan, add the veggies and sauté for about 10 minutes.

Add the sausage back to the pan and add the spices.

Add the cooked rice and stir to combine.  Serve as is or garnished with fresh parsley.  Yum!

The recipe can be found here.

The next item is Mardi Gras Pretzel Rods.  You’ve probably seen these before on my blog.  They are a favorite of mine to make because they are inexpensive, easy, and something you can switch up for any occasion by changing the color of the chocolate used.  You can make these ahead of time and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.  A light yet festive snack!

Here’s how you make them:

Ingredients

  • Pretzel Rods
  • Candy Melts (green and white colored)
  • Sprinkles

 

Directions

  • Melt the candy melts in a double boiler or microwave.  Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • Dip the pretzel rods into the melted chocolate.  Use a spoon to scoop chocolate on the pretzel rod if you can’t coat the entire pretzel rod when dipping.
  • Place on wax paper and add sprinkles.
  • Repeat until all pretzel rods are made.
  • Let harden for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

 

Mardi Gras Cake is a colorful dessert to serve.  It’s not a King Cake but a simple white cake mix with food coloring added, to resemble the colors traditionally associated with Mardi Gras.  If you have mini round or square pans you can alternate the colors like I did in the images.  If you don’t, that’s ok!  You can separate the batter evenly into three bowls, add food coloring, and swirl together when pouring into the pan to have the multi-color affect.  Then bake according to box instructions.

For multiple small pans, follow these steps:

Prepare the cake mix according to box instructions in one large bowl.  Separate the batter into three smaller bowls and add food coloring to each bowl.  Mix to combine.

Pour into your pans, making sure to have equal amounts in each pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool.

Remove the cake from the pans and use a long bread knife to level each pieces of cake.  Assemble your cake by starting with your bottom layer and adding a layer of frosting on top.  Then place another layer of cake on top, followed by another layer of frosting.  Continue this step until all cake and frosting is used.

Add sprinkles and chill until ready to serve.  Delicious!

The recipe can be found here.

The final recipe is for a Queen of Mardi Gras Cocktail.  This cocktail is light and refreshing, and can be spiced up with a splash of bourbon if that’s your style 🙂

Combine the elderflower liqueur and gin in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and pour into a glass.  Top with Lillet rose Appertiff and sparkling juice.  Add a few drops of lemon juice and drink up!

The recipe can be found here.

For more Mardi Gras ideas not included in this blog post check out these additional recipes:

 

Happy Mardi Gras!  And Happy Cooking!

 

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