Daddy’s Chicken Perlo (Pileau)


This recipe, Daddy’s Chicken Perlo, is featured in the Main Dishes section of Satisfying Eats Cookbook.   When daddy cooked, he never followed a recipe.  This was one of his specialties that he would cook for large crowds, especially at the local hunting club which I spent many Saturday’s with him as a young girl and then a young teenager.  Chicken Perlo (as I knew it growing up) was a sticky rice dish with dark meat chicken, sausage, lots of black pepper, hot sauce and Fajita Seasonings.  If the rice was fluffy and not sticky, it wasn’t Perlo.  This is not Jambalaya! 😉  I remade the recipe for the cookbook using cauliflower and I think I captured the flavors that Daddy used.  I have had so many compliments on the recipe I wanted to share it with everyone on Daddy’s birthday.As the saying goes, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  I never understood this thought process until I lost my first love, my Daddy.  It has been a little over 10 years since he left this earth and even though it hurts that he is not here to enjoy his grandson and to teach him life’s lessons that he taught me, I am still very happy that I have so many great memories with such a great man.  Today would have been his 57th birthday so I am writing this post to honor his birthday and one of his most loved recipes. I hope you enjoy this comfort food.  It comforts my tummy but it is so comforting to eat it and remember all of the good times I had with my Daddy! 9/22/13 Update: I just found out that the correct spelling of this dish is “pileau.”  It’s funny, over 30 years later I am FINALLY learning how to spell this dish! 

Daddy’s Chicken Perlo

Serves 6; <4 Net Carbs per serving

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    • 6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
    • Sea salt & pepper
    • 1 tbsp salted butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 2-3 cups chicken stock  (Start with 2 cups)
    • 3 cups shredded cauliflower
    • 1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 1/2 tbsp Melissa’s Cajun Seasoning or Cajun House Seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce (to taste)


  1. Season chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. In large pot, melt butter (or coconut oil) and add chicken thighs to pan. Cook thighs on medium heat for 5 minutes then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (2 cups of stock) and cook on low (uncovered) for 20 minutes or until chicken is done and most of stock has evaporated. Add the remaining 1 cup of stock if needed. Taste for seasoning and serve with extra hot sauce.

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      • Carla says

        Pileau is the true spelling of the word, but pronounced as you spelled it. :) You may find more history on it with that route. I, too, LOVE my daddy’s pileau. :)

        • Patricia Barth says

          Thanks, Carla! So it comes from what I think of as Pilaf? I’ve been making it in the crockpot and it turns out more like soup, so I didn’t make that connection. It’s a great recipe either way, Melissa!

  1. Krissy says

    OH.MY.WORD!! This is DELICIOUS!! I made this for lunch today. We are all enjoying it as we watch the Saints play 😉 Thank you yet again for another amazing recipe.

    • says

      Kerry, be sure to cook for the 20-25 minutes without the lid to help the stock evaporate as the chicken cooks. It may take a few minutes more. If you want next time, you would also lessen the amount of stock. This is one of my favorites. I hope this helps!

  2. Viki says

    Melissa, I had the same experience as Kerry – I turned up the heat and cooked it another 20 minutes. I decided to dish up a serving for my husband and me. The flavor was amazing! I let the rest continue cooking in an effort to drive out more of the broth – do you think it might work to cut the broth back to just 2 cups the next time – there will be a next time :-)

    • says

      Viki, yes, you can totally decrease the liquid. The intent of the liquid is to help cook the chicken but less would still work. I think it’s time I make this again… it’s one of my favorite comfort foods! 😉

  3. Celia says

    This recipe is absolutely delicious. I like mine with a little liquid. I added a bit more cauliflower and used about 2.5 cups of broth. I let mine cook and simmer for way longer than 25 minutes though.

    Thank you for the delicious recipe! I can’t wait to have a little more time to try out some others from your blog.

  4. MizWendalina says

    This was AMAZING!!!!! I cooked pretty much the exact recipe except I added more Cajun Spices and a can of rinsed cannellini beans because I have been craving them for a while now. This recipe got 12 thumbs up from my family!!!! Thank you so much!


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