Before we had kids, my husband and I enjoyed many meals at Yats, a super casual restaurant that services up cajun creole meals over rice. Not only do we really like Joe, the owner of Yats but we like that there are many locations around town that we can visit wherever we happen to be. And the food! Need we say more about the food?

If you have not been to Yats before or have only been once, you might be surprised to know that the menu is ever changing. If you fall in love with a dish, it might not be there the next time you wander in, but that’s okay, something super delicious will be there for you. This has pushed us to try many a new dish during our visit. The staff at Yats is pretty patient — they’ll let you sample everything if you want and they’ll tell you what is in each one.

Our favorite menu items are the Drunken Chicken (not recommended for most children-spicy), Chili Cheese Etoufee with Chicken or Crawfish and of course, Red Beans and Sausage (this is Lulu’s absolute favorite!) Entrees are priced at about $7 each and come served over rice with a side of bread. Yum!

Yats has FOUR locations in the Indianapolis area including Broadripple (5363 North College Ave, Indianapolis, IN), Downtown (659 Mass Ave, Indianapolis, IN), 8352 East 96th St, Fishers, IN (8352 East 96th St, Fishers, IN) and Greenwood (1280 U.S. 31, Greenwood, IN).

Here is the copycat Yats Chili Cheese Etouffee with Chicken recipe.

1 stick of butter
½ c. flour
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced bell peppers
1 c. diced onions
2 t. minced garlic
1 c. Rotel Original diced tomatoes
½ t. dried thyme
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. dried basil
¼ t. black pepper
¼ t. white pepper
¼ t. cayenne pepper
3 c. chicken stock
3 c. shredded aged cheddar
8 oz. half and half or heavy cream
1 t. chili powder
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
dash Leas and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 lb cooked crawfish, shrimp and/or chicken
Cooked white rice
Make a roux by heating the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat then blending in the flour, sonsistently stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the roux is golden color
Add the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned
Add the thyme, tomato paste, basil and peppers (black, white, and cayenne)
Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture becomes thick
Add the cheese, half and half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Lea and Perrins and Tabasco and stir until the cheese and half and half are blended in well
Gently stir in the chicken (or shrimp or crawfish) and serve with white rice.
Serves 6-8
Source: Indianapolis Dine Magazine

Copycat Yats Chili Cheese Étouffée with Chicken recipe

1 stick of butter
½ c. flour
1 c. chopped green onions
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced bell peppers
1 c. diced onions
2 t. minced garlic
1 c. Rotel Original diced tomatoes
½ t. dried thyme
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. dried basil
¼ t. black pepper
¼ t. white pepper
¼ t. cayenne pepper
3 c. chicken stock
3 c. shredded aged cheddar
8 oz. half and half or heavy cream
1 t. chili powder
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
dash Leas and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 lb cooked crawfish, shrimp and/or chicken
Cooked white rice
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
Make a roux by blending in the flour, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet.
Cook until the roux is a golden color.
Toss in the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes, cooking until the onions have browned.
Stir in the thyme, tomato paste, basil and all three peppers.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the mixture becomes thick.
Add the cheese, half and half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Lea and Perrins and Tabasco and stir until the cheese and half and half are blended in well.
Gently fold in the chicken (or shrimp or crawfish) and serve with white rice.
Serves 6-8 adults.