Creole Chicken Okra is hearty, healthy, and filling dish with tons of vegetables and spices, and it all comes together quickly. A great weeknight meal and perfect soul food.
I know okra has a reputation for being a slimy vegetable – it has many fans and lots of haters, too. I distinctly have memories from my childhood, coming up with every excuse in the book to avoid eating it. Always hoping it would excuse me from the table – never did!
In my household back in Africa, summer breaks were the only times we did not have sit-down meals on weekdays. And okra soup was only cooked on weekdays. So you know what happened to my okra when there was no parental supervision, right?
Today, my relationship with okra is not the same. It has evolved, mostly because getting older means you realize why you have to eat your vegetables. Yes! Even when no one is watching. In most West African Countries – it is most likely consumed as a soup. And referred to as okro soup. Here is the creole version enjoyed here in the U.S, mainly in the South.
What is Okra?
Scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus, okra belongs to the mallow family, known for being a little snotty. It loves the tropics, just like I do, which is why it grows so well in West Africa and Ethiopia. The African influence brought it to the Southern U.S., where it became a vegetable people loved or hated.
Can you believe okra is now regularly on the menu in my own household? I’m still picky when it comes to okra. But the benefits outweigh the cons for me. It is low in calories, rich in vitamin C, a good source of folate and calcium, and tastes quite good. And this creole chicken okra makes it a lot easier to eat.
- Chicken – A delicious protein for a wonderfully filling meal. It’s one of the cheapest and easy to find on sale, making it one of my quick go-to’s in the freezer.
- Creole Seasoning – Spicy, garlicky, and absolutely delicious with meats, veggies, and rice.
- Canola oil – A neutral-flavored oil that can handle the heat; ideal for sauteing and stir-fries.
- Onion – This pungent veggie adds flavor and nutrients. Yum! Learn How to Cut Onion here.
- Garlic – The unique flavor of garlic adds a depth that’s hard to duplicate. Learn How to Mince Garlic here.
- Jalapeños – Hot pepper with an attitude.
- Bay leaf – Aromatic herb with a pleasing menthol twist.
- Thyme – Related to oregano, this exquisite herb gives an earthy minty kick to soups and stews. It especially goes well with chicken. Learn more about Thyme.
- Smoked Paprika – This one is a favorite of mine. The smokey taste and beautiful red color are hard to beat. Learn more about Paprika.
- Tomatoes – They add bulk to the sauce, and the acidity balances the okra’s mucilaginous quality. Learn How to Cut Tomatoes here.
- Cayenne Pepper – One of my favorite spices that add heat and flavor is this heart-healthy hot pepper.
- Corn – My favorite grain that is so filling and delicious. Using canned makes it super quick and easy, but don’t worry, fresh and frozen work just as well.
- Bell Pepper – This wonderful veggie adds zing without heat. I hardly ever make a sauce without it.
- Okra – The star of this dish is healthy, delicious, and satisfying. I used to dread having to eat it, but since I’ve learned how to cook it right, I look forward to making this dish.
- Green Onions – Using green onions instead of or in addition to regular white or red ones creates a milder onion flavor. Learn How to Cut Green Onion.
- Chicken broth or water – I prefer broth to enhance the flavor, but you can use water. This creole chicken okra recipe does need some liquid to give it the right texture.
- Salt – A flavor enhancer that no one notices unless it’s not there.
- Parsley – This herb makes a beautiful garnish and adds a flavor similar to celery.
It’s always great served with rice on a plate. If you prefer vegan dishes, you can make it without the chicken, and it is still hearty and filling.
For another excellent creole dish, try this Shrimp Creole right here. You will not be disappointed.
- Jalapenos – If you’re sensitive to the heat, you can replace them with bell peppers. If you don’t have them, you can use just about any hot pepper, fresh or canned.
- Tomatoes – Some people have a hard time eating tomatoes for their stomach’s sake. You can replace the two tomatoes with two large red bell peppers. Remove the seeds, dice them, and when it’s time to add them to the pot, add a teaspoon of apple cider or red wine vinegar to replace the tomatoes’ acidity. Learn How to Cut Tomatoes here.
- Parsley – A couple of times, I ran out of parsley. Did you know celery is related? I used the celery leaves that would usually get thrown out, and it worked out great.
Tips & Tricks
I really appreciate my readers’ input. Here are some suggestions based on your comments.
If you prefer less slime, you can parboil the okra, then rinse with cold water to get it out. If using frozen okra, you can add a bit of filé powder to help out. – Thanks, Joe O’Reilly
You can use a scotch bonnet instead of jalapeños, and add some celery too. – Thanks, Sandy H.
Leftover turkey breast, Creole or andouille sausage, and shrimp are delicious additions. – Thanks, Patricia Cronin Ganc.
I prefer long grain rice with this recipe. Basmati is really good if you can find it. My favorite place to shop is the ethnic markets, where they have a wider variety of rice at a better price. You can also use brown rice; just allow yourself a little extra time for it to cook.
An 8-ounce can of diced tomatoes works just fine. And you don’t need to drain it.
No, you don’t have to thaw it first.
What Pairs Well with Creole Chicken Okra?
I almost always serve my creoles over a bed of white rice. Basmati happens to be my favorite because it doesn’t fall apart if I accidentally overcook it.
Other mouthwatering sides are fresh homemade biscuits or skillet cornbread. To drink, I love a Jamaican sorrel drink, also known as hibiscus. The sweet tartness is a great combination with creole chicken okra.
Other Incredible Creole Dishes
- Shrimp Creole – Spicy shrimp and sausage in a delicious stew served over rice is comfort in a bowl.
- Shrimp Po’Boy – The first time I tried this sandwich in New Orleans, I fell in love. Crusty French bread piled high with spicy shrimp and slathered with a delicious remoulade sauce, what’s not to love?
- Cajun Shrimp Boil – Super tasty combination of shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob. This one-stop meal will have your family begging for more.
- Crawfish Etouffee – The only etouffee I love more than shrimp is this one. Crawfish adds a unique flavor to this tantalizing and spicy that’s hard to resist.
How to Make Creole Chicken Okra
Preparing the chicken and Preparing the Gumbo
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, and then season with creole spices or salt.
- Cook the chicken – Heat a saucepan with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes or more. Remove and set aside on a plate. (Photo 1)
- Add seasonings – Throw in onions, garlic, jalapeño, bay leaf, thyme, and paprika. Add 2 tablespoons of oil or as need, then sauté for about 2-3 minutes. (Photo 2)
- Add more ingredients – Then add tomatoes, cayenne, corn, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, chicken, and paprika, cook for about 5 minutes. (Photo 3)
- Stir in okra, green onions, add broth, salt and cook for about 5 minutes or more. Stirring occasionally, depending on how you like the texture of your vegetables, the longer you cook, the less crunchy the veggie will be. Adjust broth and seasonings to taste. (Photo 4)
- Serve with rice and cornbread.
Watch How To Make It
This was blog post was last published in June 2015 and has been updated with additional tips, and a video.
Creole Chicken Okra
- 1 pound (453 g) boneless chicken
- 1-2 tablespoons (12-24 g) Creole seasoning
- 2- 4 tablespoons (28-56 ml)canola oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) garlic, minced
- ½-1 small jalapeno peppers, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) thyme, fresh
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) smoked paprika
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) cayenne pepper
- 1 can or (12 oz) corn, rinsed and drained
- ½ medium bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cup or (16 oz) okra, fresh or frozen, sliced
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) green onion, sliced
- 2 cups or more (500 ml) chicken broth or water
- salt to taste
- parsley, fresh and minced
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, and then season with creole spices or salt.
- Heat a saucepan with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes or more. Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Throw in onions, garlic, jalapeño, bay leaf, thyme, and paprika. Add 2 tablespoons of oil or as needed, then sauté for about 2-3 minutes.
- Then add the tomatoes, cayenne, corn, bell pepper, and sauteed chicken, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in okra and green onions. Add broth and salt and cook for about 5 minutes or more. Stirring occasionally, depending on how you like the texture of your vegetables, the longer you cook, the less crunchy the veggie will be. Adjust broth and seasonings to taste.
- Serve with rice and garnish with chopped parsley.
Tips & Notes:
- If you prefer less slime, you can parboil the okra, then rinse with cold water to get it out. If using frozen okra, you can add a bit of filé powder to help out.
- You can use a scotch bonnet instead of jalapeños, and add some celery too.
- Leftover turkey breast, Creole or andouille sausage, and shrimp are delicious additions.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.