1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped onions
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1-1/2 cups canned chicken broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. granular chicken bouillon
2 whole bay leaves
1 whole store-bought roasted chicken, picked
1 cup finely chopped green onion tops
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Frank Davis Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tsp. Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp. salt (if needed)
4 Tbsp. gravy flour + 1/2 cup cocktail sherry
6 cups cooked white long-grain rice
First, take a 5-quart oval roaster or heavy aluminum Dutch oven and melt the butter until it begins to foam (but don’t let it burn!). Then drop in the onions, the celery, the bell pepper, and the garlic and sauté them over medium heat until they soften and turn clear (which should take you about 4 to 5 minutes).
Next, go ahead and add your chicken broth, your tomato paste, your bouillon, and your bay leaves, stir and blend all the ingredients completely, cover the pot, and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes.
Then, about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, fold in the diced chicken, along with half the onions tops, half the parsley, the crushed red pepper, the hot sauce, and the poultry seasoning. Take special effort to ensure that these ingredients are fully and thoroughly blended. Then cover the pot, turn the fire down to low, and let the etouffee simmer so that all the flavors come together smoothly. This is a critical part of the process—don’t minimize it and certainly don’t skip over it.
After 15 minutes, turn the fire up to medium high. Then stir in, a little at a time, enough of the gravy flour and wine mixture to reach the consistency you desire (which should be nothing more than a light sauce but still thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). At this point, you should also readjust your seasonings: a little extra salt to taste, perhaps more hot sauce, maybe a touch of black pepper. Just remember that a true etouffee is a “yellow-rose” color, not a deep “tomato gravy” red.
Finally, when you can resist the aroma no longer and can hardly wait to dig in, liberally ladle the chicken chunks and sauce over a big plate of steaming long-grain rice. All that’s left to do then is to garnish it with some of the remaining parsley and onion tops and serve it piping hot with butter-toasted French bread and a tossed green salad with either French or Catalina Dressing.
This is some good, yeah, cher!
Etouffee should not come out looking like chicken chunks floating in a watery gravy. There should be only enough sauce to hold the chicken together in suspension. The way to ensure this is to add broth to the dish only a little bit at a time.
The mixture of gravy flour and wine (and I prefer Madeira or sherry for this recipe) won’t thicken until the liquid in the pot comes to a rapid boil. Once it does, continue to stir and cook the concoction for at least 4 minutes to eliminate any “raw flour” taste in the sauce.
If you’d prefer to fix brown rice for your etouffee, it’s certainly acceptable. Just be sure to cook the brown rice a little longer than white rice so that it will be tender and plump.
If you’d rather save time by using the chopped veggies that you find in the produce section of your supermarket that’s perfectly okay. Just eliminate the onions, celery, and bell pepper at the start of the ingredient list.