CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The latest edition of "Family Favorite Foods", has us dishing up a Louisiana favorite in South Texas. We head to Corpus Christi Fire Departments Station #14 for a meal that is sure to bring the heat.
Kenny Savoy has been with CCFD for almost two decades and takes pride in helping the community. Something else he takes pride in, is cooking many of the meals for his fire house. One of his specialties is Sauce Piquant. Cajun and Creole homes have been dining on Sauce Piquant for generations. Some like it with Alligator, some with chicken. The main ingredient can even be seafood. But the process is all the same. You must have the trinity, which include onion, bell pepper, and celery. And you must make a roux.
Savoy was first taught how to make the dish by his father and later learned his uncles take on the spicy meal, "This is a family dish anybody who grew up in Louisiana and you had a family get together you're gonna have Sauce Piquant and it all starts with a sauce. Basically the process as you gotta start with onions Bell peppers red pepper celery first brown the chicken and then make a Roux. A roux is basically oil and flour when you cook that down a little bit or at a little bit of tomato paste and then you make a stock and add that and throw everything together."
Now, with a family of his own, it's a recipe he's passing on to his kids. When asked how long it took him to perfect the dish, he said, "I'm not there yet. It's ever evolving. Some people cook at different ways, it's like gumbo, the way I make gumbo may not be the same as somebody down the street. But they both taste good."
Savoy's Dad passed away a few years ago, but he knows he'd be proud to keep the family recipe going, "I'm trying to get to where my dad and my uncle would make it but I am not there yet. The guys here like it but there is some thing else that I need to get it to where it needs to be. I think the one thing growing up is we would make this outside sometimes. We would dig a hole on top put a great on the ground and we would cook it outside. It gave it an entirely different flavor."
He says, his mom is also a serious cook. So good she can make a shoe taste good.
Kenny Savoy's Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Sauce Piquant
1 whole chicken or 8 bone-in chicken thighs
1 package of smoked sausage
1 large yellow onion
1 bell pepper
4 celery stalks
4 to 5 garlic cloves
2 bouillon cubes or 4 cups of chicken stock
4 cups of water if using bouillon cubes
3 table spoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of flour
your favorite all purpose seasoning
Begin by heating a large cast iron pot with just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pot. While that heats up trim your chicken and season with your preferred seasoning. Then chop up your sausage. Next you want to brown the chicken in your cast iron pot. While that cooks dice up all your vegetables. Once the chicken is browned remove it from the pot next is making the roux. The roux is made with flour in a little bit of oil. Once the roux is complete add in your tomato paste and continue to stir for 5 to 6 minutes. Next add your vegetables and continue to stir for another 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to stir scraping the bottom of the pot. Then add your chicken and sausage and cook at medium to high heat and keep stirring. Cook until chicken is done and serve over cooked rice.