Necessity is the mother of invention, according to Plato, and exhaustion was the mother of this recipe.

I found myself with all but two of the ingredients necessary to make something I wanted — Cajun chicken pasta. I lacked the sun dried tomatoes and the Cajun seasoning. I had a lot of creole seasoning, however, a pint of home canned diced tomatoes from last summer I needed to use up and chicken broth in the fridge. I also didn’t want to go to the store. I was very tired and I’d had my fill of other humans for the day, so I decided to experiment with what I had and see what happened.

What happened was stew. I tried to make chicken pasta and ended up with chicken stew. This probably isn’t the best season for soups and stews — especially the slightly spicy type — it was good enough I want to share it with you anyway.

You’ll definitely want to break this one out when it’s not roughly 100 degrees outside.

Creole Chicken Stew

2 large, raw chicken breasts diced bite-sized pieces

Three rounded tsp. Creole seasoning

Three green onions, thinly sliced

4 tbs butter

1/2 chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pint diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

1/4 tsp. black pepper or to taste

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 to 4 oz. macaroni, cooked al dente

Dice raw chicken and coat with creole seasoning. Set aside in fridge. Slice onions. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add chicken to saucepan. Cook for about seven minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Lower heat and add onions, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper and other seasonings and cook over low heat until onions are soft and everything is heated through — about 5 minutes. Add macaroni, stir to incorporate and remove from heat after macaroni is warmed through — about 1 minute.

Serve.

Makes about eight servings.

LYDIA KAUTZ is the Managing Editor of the Junction City Union.

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