Easy Chicken Étouffée

An Etouffee is a “smothered” dish, usually associated with seafood, but also sausage or chicken. Whatever you decide to use, it’s smothered in a spicy gravy. I like to describe it as a Cajun or Creole Chow Mein. There are a few schools of thought as to whether it should include beer and/or a roux to thicken it. My version includes both … and I cheated and started with pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. Because they were so small, and nobody in my family likes dark meat, I got two. It just depends on how many people you’re feeding. The same goes for the rice to serve it with. I was feeding 3 tonight, but we have leftovers for another 2 or 3 portions.

Ingredients

4 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 lg onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c flour
1 T Worcestershire
1 bottle dark beer
2 c chicken broth
1 t Better than Bouillon stock base
1 t white pepper
1 T dried thyme
1 T Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
2 T tomato paste
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Cooked chicken, chopped or torn
Cooked white rice

Preparation

1. Saute the peppers, onion, garlic, and celery in the butter and olive oil until they start to soften, then whisk in the flour and let that cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, to form a roux. If it’s too dry, add another pat of butter or a splash of olive oil.
2. When the roux is as light or dark as you like it, whisk in the Worcestershire and deglaze the pan with a little of the beer.
3. Once you’ve gotten all the little bits off the bottom of the pan, pour in the rest of the beer.
4. When it starts to thicken, add the broth, stock base, pepper, thyme, creole seasoning, tomato paste, and most of your parsley.
5. Let the sauce simmer for a good half hour or more to reduce and give the flavors a chance to meld.
6. While the sauce is simmering, cook enough white rice for however many people you are serving. I like to cook it in chicken broth with a little butter.
7. Just before your rice is finished, go ahead and stir your chicken into the sauce to heat through.
8. To plate, pack the rice into a small bowl and invert it onto the plate, then pour the chicken around it and top it with the remaining parsley.
Credit: Foodista

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