BENNIGAN’S | Bayou Chicken

Fried Chicken Smothered in a Bayou Cheese Sauce

by RRR

While in college at Illinois State University, I worked at the Bennigan’s in Bloomington, Illinois.  Not to poke fun at Bloomington, Illinois, but at the time, the Bennigan’s may have been the fanciest restaurant there.  Who am I kidding?  I am poking fun.  But, I’m sure Bloomington has improved considerably since my tenure there.  (Or?)

I’m being too hard.  I had an absolute blasty-blast in college and working at Bennigan’s in the 90’s was a ton of fun.  My parents would argue WAY too much fun.  Hence my subsequent career in the restaurant industry.  But, I digress.

While I didn’t have to wear pieces of “flair” like Jennifer Aniston in Office Space, I do remember having to wear these goofy green and white referee shirts.  They must have been that bad, because while many of my college memories are “fuzzy”, this memory stands out crystal clear.

And their MONTE CRISTO!  Goodness, that improbable sandwich is the stuff of dreams.  Perfect for a Sunday brunch after a night of college partying.  Not that I would know that, though.  It’s what my friends said.  And lest we forget the Death By Chocolate dessert?  Makes a person ponder why the popular chain went from over 300 stores to less than 10.

So, when I found this recipe for the Bayou Chicken, I was thrilled.  It was completely Old School.  It came direct from a Bennigan’s kitchen recipe manual.  Bound even, by the large, black, plastic spiral binding.  The way things should be.

The Bennigan’s Bayou chicken is a fried chicken breast smothered in a creamy Bayou Sauce of cheese, cream, peppers, onions and carrots.  Enjoy this absolutely delicious and authentic recipe.

Bennigan's Bayou Chicken

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 450 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 4 5oz. chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 4 TBL Paul Prudhomme’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 cup green pepper, ¼” dice
  • 1 cup celery, ¼” dice
  • 1 cup carrots, 1’4” rounds
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 TBL pickled jalapeno, drained and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 TBL EVOO
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 5 cranks of black pepper
  • ½ cup + 3 TBL flour, divided
  • Canola oil for frying


Season chicken with Creole seasoning and refrigerate until use, about 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, on a med-high heat add the EVOO.  When oil begins to shimmer, add onions and garlic, and cook until fragrant.  Add the green peppers, celery, carrots and jalapenos and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the bay leaf, cayenne, white and black pepper and incorporate well.  Sprinkle 3 TBL of flour and mix throughout the vegetables.  Slowly add the chicken broth, whisking quickly to prevent flour from clumping.  Bring chicken sauce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn the heat to med-low. Add cream and whisk quickly.  Add the Colby cheese and whisk until melted.  Add the Monterey Jack cheese and whisk until melted.  Turn off heat and slowly add the sour cream, whisking quickly to prevent the sour cream from breaking.  Remove the bay leaf and set sauce to side, on zero heat.

Place chicken breasts into a Ziploc bag and add ½ cup flour.  Shake chicken in bag until well coated with flour.  In a large fry pan, add 1 1/2'” of canola oil.  When the oil gets to 365 degrees, add the chicken 2 pieces at a time and fry for 2 ½ minutes per side.  Once chicken has fried for 5 minutes and is to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, remove chicken from fry oil and set on a drainage plate.  Repeat the process with remaining 2 pieces of chicken.

To plate: Generously scoop sauce onto a plate, top sauce with chicken and spoon extra sauce onto the chicken.  *Tip: you may need to warm up the sauce before serving.  Do so on a very low heat and stir frequently.

Serve with The Strip House’s Potatoes Romanoff and The Capital Grille’s Brussels Sprouts and Bacon in a Soy Glaze and Enjoy!


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1 comment

BetterBizAdvice October 20, 2023 - 3:00 am

I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did
you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!


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