A Louisiana staple: Chicken and Andouille Etoufee

January 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

Shortly after we moved down to Baton Rouge, we discovered etoufee. This really is right up there with gumbo as a staple menu item for anything claiming to be cajun or Louisiana cuisine. Basically it’s a meaty gravy based on a dark roux and served over rice (so it doesn’t take a great picture…). I’ve recently just discovered that it’s a local favorite to serve gumbo over mustardy potato salad, but I haven’t heard the same for etoufee…yet.

img_1485Etoufee is typically of the seafood variety, much like gumbo, with the predominant ingredient being crawfish. Crawfish etoufee is served on it’s own or as a sauce, albeit a thick one, over filets of fish and all kinds of different things. Now since I’m allergic to shellfish, crawfish etoufee is a no go for me. It isn’t super easy to find the chicken or duck and andouille version, but it’s out there. So we decided we should make it at home to feel like real Louisiannes. We’ve made this recipe several times since our first trials about a year ago now.

One of the keys to this and a good gumbo is the roux. Making roux’s over the years for all kinds of things, I never realized that you could or should cook it until it becomes the color of milk chocolate. But that’s exactly what you do and it’s super important. It also takes about 15 minutes. It’s so important that you can buy jars of dark roux at all the grocery stores and other markets around the area. Kind of weird, but it really does matter. The second key ingredient is the sausage. We’ve found a really good fresh andouille here at Whole Foods but they don’t always have it. We need to try some of the new butcher shops that have popped up in the city. It’s really going to affect the flavor of the dish though. The third is the cajun seasoning. You can use one of the standards here “Slap ya mama” or others that you can find around the rest of the country. Here stores devote an entire aisle to this and related items. It’s pretty intense. This recipe is derived from one in Saveur  from February 2011 and they basically use a set of more traditional spices (basil, thyme, black pepper, cayenne). If using the creole spices, then that takes precedence.

The Stuff

  • 34 cup canola oil
  • 34 cup flour
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 12 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Cajun seasoning (otherwise use: 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper,1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, 1 tsp. dried basil, 12 dried thyme)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 12“-thick pieces
  • 6 large scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Cooked white rice, for serving

The Details

1. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Add flour, whisking constantly, and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is the color of milk chocolate, about 12–15 minutes.
2. Add celery, onions, and peppers, and cook, stirring constantly, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices/cajun seasoning, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
3. Add 2 cups chicken stock, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with the cajun spices. Add chicken, and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 4–6 minutes; transfer chicken and butter to Dutch oven.
5. Brown the andouille sausage as well to bring out it’s flavors.
5. Pour remaining chicken stock into skillet, stir to scrape up any browned bits, and then pour into Dutch oven along with andouille; cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat, stir in scallions, and serve étouffée with rice.

 

 

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