Chicken and Sausage Etouffee
Why I Love This Recipe
I spent most of my formative years as a youth in north eastern Louisiana, and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. My mother was heavily influenced by both Cajun and Soul food, and has passed her cooking knowledge on to me. Here is my recipe for Etouffee, normally made with crawfish tails, but calling instead for chicken and spicey Cajun sausage, out of respect for the more delicate Utah palates in my family.
Ingredients You'll Need
• 1 pound of andouille sausage, sliced thin (can be found in almost every grocery store in Utah these days, but other smoked sausages found in America can be used instead)
• 1 pound of cubed chicken (can even be the picked meat from a whole rotisserie chicken)
• ½ cup of vegetable oil
• ½ cup of flour
• 1 chopped onion
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped
• 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped very fine (a nod to the Southwestern US influence that came from living in Utah the past 35 years; if you can’t get these, then add an additional green bell pepper)
• 6 garlic cloves, chopped fine
• 4 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
• 4 cups of chicken stock (can be store bought, made from the boiled bones and skins of a rotisserie chicken, or made from any of your favorite ways)
• 2 tablespoons of paprika (“sweet”, not spicey or smoked)
• 4 bay leaves
• Tony Chachere’s seasoning to taste
• Cayenne pepper to taste
• 6 tablespoons of butter
• Season the sausage and chicken with Tony’s, and brown both together in a pan. Set aside.
• Make a roux with the flour and oil (heat over medium heat in the pot you will making the etouffee in. Whisk constantly until it reaches the color of milk chocolate; do not allow it scorch. It will take on a strong, toasted flour, nutty smell as you cook it. This is normal, and will be very hot when done).
• Carefully add the chopped onion, peppers, jalapenos, celery, and garlic, and cook until tender (10 to 15 minutes more). The roux will be very hot, and adding the vegetables will cause an immediate boiling of the moisture in them, so be ready. As you cook the vegetables with the roux, the roux will darken further to a dark chocolate shade.
• When the vegetables have softened somewhat, slowly stir in the chicken stock, a single ladle at a time, mixing well before adding more.
• After all the stock has been well incorporated, add the paprika, and bay leaves. Add the chicken and sausage as well, and simmer on medium until vegetables are really tender (meaning you shouldn’t be able to discern many of the vegetables, except for maybe the jalapenos, which in my experience take forever to cook down completely) and the liquid thickens. Taste. If more salt is needed, sprinkle in more Tony’s. If the salt level is fine, and you want some more spice, add straight cayenne pepper powder. Add butter and allow to melt, right before serving.
• Serve with steamed rice (and French bread, for authenticity)
• It is traditional to add some Louisiana hot sauce to the serving (Crystal, Louisiana Red, etc.)
• Makes 3 to 6 servings, depending on the appetites of those being served.