Chef Emeril Lagasse learned to love Louisiana cuisine long before he was yelling "Bam!" on Food Network. He and his co-author traveled the back roads of the state for his 1996 book, "Louisiana Real and Rustic," to understand the food's multicultural influences.
With Fat Tuesday just around the corner, this classic that's usually made from leftovers seemed to fit the bill, for breakfast as well as dinner. Using cooked leftover potatoes is best, but to keep things quick and easy, we've used pre-shredded potatoes here.
Serve with whole-grain toast.
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 1/2 medium green or red bell pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces chicken tenderloins
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 ounces smoked (cooked) andouille sausage
- 2 tablespoons Creole or whole-grain mustard
- 2 cups shredded potatoes such as Simply Potatoes brand (see headnote)
- 4 large eggs
- Louisiana hot sauce (optional)
Cut the onion and bell pepper into small dice, placing them in a medium bowl. Season them with half of the salt and half of the cayenne, stirring to coat evenly.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat.
Trim the visible tendons and excess fat from the chicken, then cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces and place it in a mixing bowl. Season evenly with the remaining salt and cayenne pepper. Coarsely chop the andouille (keeping it separate from the chicken).
Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring, until it loses its raw look. Add the andouille and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly (it should start to become fragrant), then add the onion-pepper mixture and cook for about 6 minutes, until the onions are softened and lightly golden.
Stir in the mustard, then stir in the potatoes until well incorporated. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to press down the hash mixture. Cook for 1 minute, then scoop and fold the mixture and press down again. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring and pressing down with a spatula to maintain an even surface. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Crack the eggs one at a time, letting them fall on top of the hash with a little space between them and making sure the yolks remain intact. Immediately transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until the egg whites are just opaque.
Divide the hash and eggs among individual plates. Top with a dash of hot sauce, if desired, and/or sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Serve warm.
Adapted from "Louisiana Real and Rustic," by Lagasse and Marcelle Bienvenu (William Morrow, 1996).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.