So what is étouffée, you ask? Think gumbo, only a little thicker. Peppers, onions, spices, and some kind of protein mixed together and served over rice. Usually the protein is some kind of seafood - shrimp and/or crawfish being the most common. Clearly my étouffée wasn't going to involve either of those as I wouldn't have been able to eat it. I decided to use chicken and sausage instead.
The first thing I had to do was find a recipe. After googling "étouffée," I saw that I had about 7 zillion choices. I eventually settled on two recipes: this one and this one. I figured that I would take some elements of each one and go from there. So here's my shopping list:
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast (because it was easiest)
1 pound of andouille sausage
8ish cloves of garlic (my recipes called for about 5-6 cloves, but I really like garlic)
1 8 oz. package of diced bell peppers (I was feeling lazy, and Publix has a pepper mix all ready to go)
1 8 oz. package of diced celery (also with the pre-packaged kind)
Parsley (just about a handful)
Hot sauce (as much or as little as you want)
1 bottle of beer (I only had Sam Adams Summer Ale on hand, but I would recommend something darker)
2/3 cup of flour
1 stick of butter
3 cups of chicken broth
Red Pepper Flakes
Rice (white, brown, dirty...your choice)
How it's made
Get a big, deep skillet or pan. Brown the sausage and set it aside. Brown the chicken and add it to the sausage. Add the chopped parsley and 1/2 cup beer to the meat mixture and put it aside.
|I probably could have let the chicken get more color, but here's the meat.|
|L making the roux while I frantically chopped garlic & onions.|
|The veggies just hanging out in the pan.|
|Simmering veggies in the liquid.|
Make sure your rice is ready to go. I'm lazy, so I used minute rice (also much less stressful), so I put the rice on around the same time I added the meat. If you use real rice, you'll probably want to get it started around the time you add the liquids to the veggies.
While we were waiting for the meat to heat back through and for the rice and garlic bread to finish cooking, we made a salad (again with the lazy - we went with one of those pre-packaged bagged salad mixes) and munched on that. It had spring mix lettuce, raisins, bleu cheese, candied nuts, and, well, I forget what kind of dressing. But it was delicious.
|Deliciousness in a bowl.|
|I apologize for the blurriness. I was hungry and super ready to eat this.|
A few observations
This was delicious, but it definitely needed more hot sauce. I added some to my bowl (you can see the red lines in the picture above), and that helped. I wish it had been a little bit thicker. I'm not really sure how to make that happen - probably by letting things cook a little longer. I'm impatient and I was hungry, so that wasn't happening. Definitely use a darker beer. I would use less celery and add more peppers. I would also add a little bit more sausage, or I would cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
Bottom line? I have leftovers for most of the week. What I made would easily serve 6-8. If you can eat shrimp or crawfish, I think you should add them in. I really liked this meal, and it was a lot easier to make than I thought it would be. L & M were pretty happy with it too. I'm pretty proud of myself for making this. Super time consuming, but worth it in the end. Next time I'll even make the roux, but for now, HUGE thanks to L for taking over this step.