At least three times a week I get mail like this:

To: Chuck Taggart
Subject: Bourbon chicken

Hello, I am looking for a recipe for Bourbon Chicken. I had it at a Cajun food stall in a mall here where I live in [insert the name of any state other than Louisiana]. I'd love to have the recipe. Do you have it?

Well, I'm sorry, the answer is "no".

This dish is not representative of New Orleans, of Creole cuisine, or of Cajun Cuisine. This is a dish that appears at shopping mall food courts everywhere in the United States except, significantly, in Louisiana. These places try to pass it off as authentic Louisiana cuisine, which it is not. You know how I feel about people who try to fake out the public with inauthentic Louisiana cuisine and claim that it is, and if you don't, read my rant about it.

From what I can tell, most places that serve this dish make it like a sweet chicken teriyaki. This is about as Cajun as ... well, chicken teriyaki, which isn't. At all.

The popularity of this dish befuddles me ... whatever. But I know our cuisine extremely well, and I'd never heard of it until the emails start coming in. No one in my family had heard of it. None of my friends in New Orleans had heard of it. No one on the New Orleans Mailing List had heard of it unless they saw it in some shopping mall food court in Nebraska, Minnesota or New Jersey.

Think of me as a hardheaded sonofabitch if you like, but I won't put recipes for poseur cuisine on my site. If you've had this and liked it, that's fine. Eat and enjoy. But if someone sold you a plate of this and told you it's real Cajun food as eaten in Louisiana, they lied. If you've had this and have been told that it's a classic Louisiana dish, you've been had.

Funny thing is, most people who write to me asking for this recipe have obviously not done any web searching for it -- two simple queries on Google and Altavista yield tons of results: follow these links if you really want this.

poultry | creole and cajun recipe page
the gumbo pages | search this site

Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)