The first time I ever had Etouffee was in New Orleans. ¬†I, don’t remember the name of the place, it was small, tucked out of the way. ¬†It was dark, and a bit smokey (this is when you could smoke in restaurants), and there was great jazz playing. ¬†The drinks were flowing, and the food was memorable. ¬†The dish of Etouffee arrived hot and steamy. ¬†It was full of crawfish and mussels and was served over white rice. ¬†I loved the gravy like sauce that lingered at the back of my throat with every bite. ¬†It was good. Rib-sticking good. ¬†I, have not had a dish of Etouffee, that was as memorable until now.
Etouffee is a French word that means smothered. ¬†In the south smothered means, to simmer in a small amount of liquid, to create a thick gravy. ¬†Traditionally Etouffee is made with either seafood or chicken and is served over rice. ¬†I like to make Etouffee with chicken thighs as they have the most flavor. ¬†Feel free to use whatever cuts of chicken you prefer.
I, brown the thighs until golden, and then let them simmer in a roux made with stock, butter, onions, peppers and spicy andouille. ¬†The secret seasoning that is key to the success of this recipe is Zatarain’s Creole seasoning. ¬†I have tried making my own “special” seasoning; ¬†but, it never comes out close to that first Etouffee experience. ¬†I let the dish simmer over very low heat for awhile; ¬†I feel this is key as it gives the flavors a chance to mingle. ¬†This¬†is a filling dish, and you really don’t need much more than a big bowl of rice and some icy cold beverages to make it a complete meal.
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Recipe: ¬†Chicken Etouffee¬†