My favorite recipes start, "First, make a dark roux." But lots of days, I just don't have the time to be bothered. That's when what I call cheater roux comes in handy. This recipe calls for just a bit of flour added in the middle of the cooking process. You get that nutty aroma, but you don't have to stand around endlessly stirring a pot like Hecate over her caldron.
Chicken etouffee is not what I consider a photogenic dish, but it has, as they say, a great personality. Whenever I make it, the Merry Husband remembers exactly why he was so smart to marry me.
8 bone-in chicken thighs
Dash of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine or dry sherry
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups water
Hot sauce to taste
Place the chicken thighs, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 1/2 cups flour in a freezer bag. Shake to coat the thighs.
Heat the oil in a pan big enough to accomodate the thighs in one layer. Add the chicken, and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken.
Deglaze your pan with the wine or sherry. Add the onion, bell pepper, thyme, sage, Cajun seasoning, and a dash of salt. Saute for another 7 minutes. Add 2 tbsp flour and saute for 5 minutes, making sure not to burn the flour (i.e. stir constantly). Add garlic during the last 30 seconds. Add the water while stirring to prevent clumping. Return the chicken to the pan, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Adjust the flavors to your liking with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook for 20 minutes. You may need to stir occassionally or add a bit more water.
Serve with boiled rice and cold beer.
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