Recipes from Real Cajun

An untamed region teeming with snakes, alligators, and snapping turtles, with sausage and cracklins sold at every gas station, Cajun Country is a world unto itself. The heart of this area—the Acadiana region of Louisiana—is a tough land that funnels its spirit into the local cuisine. You can’t find more delicious, rustic, and satisfying country cooking than the dirty rice, spicy sausage, and fresh crawfish that this area is known for. It takes a homegrown guide to show us around the back roads of this particularly unique region, and in Real Cajun, James Beard Award–winning chef Donald Link shares his own rough-and-tumble stories of living, cooking, and eating in Cajun Country.

A pile of Cajun fried chicken pieces.

Cajun Fried Chicken

Bathed in buttermilk and spiced ever so slightly, this Cajun fried hen is memorably moist, superlatively crisp, and gosh darn perfect through and through.

A two-handle bowl of seafood gumbo on a piece of wood.

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood gumbo loaded with shrimp, such as this classic Cajun recipe, screams for a cold beer and a lazy weekend afternoon dedicated to nothing but cooking.

A mug lying on its side in a bin of cajun spice mix

Cajun Spice Mix

Cayenne. Paprika. Pepper. Chili powder. Remarkable how something so simple can taste so complex.