Chicken Etouffee

After seeing the episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations where he was in Louisiana on Monday night, I started craving Creole food. I had the ingredients to make this etouffee. This particular recipe takes a little time to prepare. Getting the roux to the point that it is a rich dark brown color (but not burnt) takes some time, but it is well worth it. I’m not a big fan of cooking with beer. I had some I needed to use, so I added it to the etouffee. I probably would not do that again, it made the etouffee a bit bitter. Etouffee is typically made with seafood (shrimp, crab, or crawfish). Adding 1/2 pound of shelled deveined shrimp to the etouffee during the last 10 minutes of cooking would bring it to a whole new level. Serve the etouffee with hot white rice and french bread.

Chicken Etouffee

 2 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle dark beer
1 quart chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup chopped parsley
 salt
pepper

Start by making the roux. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and then add the flour, stirring to combine. Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until chocolate brown, about 15 to 30 minutes. Once the roux reaches desired color, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and bay leaves and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, then add the beer and stir well to combine. Add the stock, brown sugar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Bring to a boil, add the chicken breasts to the pot, and simmer for 1 hour, until the chicken is very tender. Remove the chicken to a platter and allow to cool enough to handle. Shred chicken and return to etouffee and continue to cook another 30 minutes, until sauce is thickened and flavorful and chicken is beginning to fall apart. Add chopped parsley and stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately over rice.

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