Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let the Good Times Roll - Mardi Gras

  A big bowl of smothered goodness
                   Chicken and Smoked Sausage Etouffee
Servings  : 6 

  1/2 pound  smoked sausage -- slice into rounds
  1 pound  chicken breast, no skin, no bone, R-T-C
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1/2 cup  canola oil
  1/2 cup  all-purpose flour
  2 cups  onion -- diced (2 large)
  1 cup  celery -- diced (4 ribs)
  1 cup  green bell pepper -- diced (1 large)
  4 cloves  garlic -- minced
  12 ounces  beer -- (12-ounce)
  4 cups  chicken broth
  2 bay leaves
  2 tablespoons  paprika
  1 Pinch  cayenne pepper
  1 cup  fresh flat-leaf parsley -- chopped , garnish
  1/2 cup  green onions -- diced, garnish
  6 cups  cooked rice -- for serving

Set a Dutch oven over medium heat and add a 2-count of olive oil.  Season chicken with plenty of salt and pepper and add skin side down to the pan. Cook over medium heat to render fat for 7 to 10 minutes, then turn to brown both sides of the chicken. Remove and set aside.
With the pot over medium heat add oil, then add flour. Cook until it is nice and brown (you want a Peanut butter colored roux), about 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in the vegetables then cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes to sweat out some of the moisture.  Add the Sausage and the Spices.   Deglaze the pot with the stock and beer. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken pieces from pot to a cutting board and shred the meat. Discard the bones and return the meat to the pot. Add  the sausage into the pot amongst chicken to heat through.
Give it all a final taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve over hot buttered rice and garnish with plenty of parsley and scallions and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.

2010 : I used 4 large chicken thighs(about 1 1/2 lbs) and 1/2 lb of light smoked sausage for this and seemed to have a nicely balanced, meaty gravy.  I did not chop the vegetables in the food processor but opted for a chunkier vegetable presence.  Also garnished with a sprinkling of smoked paprika.  Any more sausage and it may have been to grease-laden and the andouille available around here has never been to our taste.
Used chicken breast, omitted the beer and used 1 T. Penzey's Cajun spice blend instead of the salt, pepper, and spices.  Left all the veg chunky.

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