Cajun Chicken Morsels

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

These chicken pieces are perfect party food because they can be made in advance and reheated before serving. Serve with a variety of mustards for dipping and plenty of cold beer.

NotesThe cooked chicken can be stored covered in the refrigerator. Before serving, heat the chicken, wrapped in aluminum foil, at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Cajun is a Louisiana-born style of cooking with French roots. The Cajun people emigrated to Nova Scotia from the south of France in the early 1600s and settled a colony called Acadia. They were later driven out by the British and many settled in Louisiana, where they found a home in the existing French culture.

Thus, Cajun cooking has its roots in old French country cooking but has been adapted according to location. The dishes make great use of crawfish, chicken, pork, and seasonal game. Primary Cajun seasonings include filé powder (from the sassafras tree), parsley, bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, and a variety of fresh hot peppers. Crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya are typical Cajun dishes.

Cajun cooking is often confused with Creole cooking. Creole originated in New Orleans from a mixture of many ethnic traditions—including French, Spanish, Italian, American Indian, and African.

8 appetizer portions

Cooking Methodpan-frying


Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Courseappetizer

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, crunchy, herby, meaty, nutty, savory, spiced


  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped (medium fine) pecans
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 whole chicken breasts (8 halves), skinned, boned, and cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Combine the flour, pecans, oregano, cumin, thyme, cayenne, and salt to taste in a shallow dish.

  2. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan. Dip each chicken piece first in the butter, then in the flour mixture to coat well.

  3. Melt 3 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken pieces and sauté until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the chicken.

  4. Serve the chicken morsels with toothpicks and your favorite mustard for dipping.


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