Friday, 3 August 2007

Chicken Etoufee

A Cajun classic. Over the years i've made this with Tiger Prawns and Crayfish tails as well, so feel free to use them instead of chicken......

2 oz Butter
500g or 1lb of boneless Chicken Breast, cut into thin strips or bite sized chunks
1 small Onion (chopped)
1 green Pepper
1 red Pepper
1 stick Celery (chopped)
1 small red chilli (seeded and finely chopped)
1 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix - find it with the rest of the spice jars in all supermarkets.
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Basil
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Plain Flour
3 Spring Onions (chopped) - you only need the white bits and maybe the first 1cm of the green.
Pinch of salt

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Wait 2 or 3 minutes and then add the chopped onion, red and green peppers, chopped celery and the chilli. Cook gently over a low heat for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Now add the Cajun spice mix, the Basil and a pinch of salt. Stir well and cook gently for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and put the saucepan to one side.

Now for the tricky(ish) part.....

Gently heat the Vegetable oil in a saucepan, over a medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. It needs to be hot, but not too hot. Add the flour and stir until it absorbs the oil. Keep stirring as it will stick to the pan if you don't. Keep it on a medium heat and keep stirring until the mixture (it's called a Roux) turns a reddish/brown colour. This may take several minutes. Keep an eye on it, as it will seem to take ages and then suddenly change colour very quickly.

Once your Roux is the right colour (colour of brick will do, a little darker is also good), gradually add the stock and whisk it well as you add, to make a nice thick sauce.

Now return your vegetable mix to the heat and pour the sauce over it. Stir it well and then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can sneak off to grab a beer at this point.

Now add the Chicken (or the Tiger Prawns or the Crayfish Tails) and the Spring Onions, stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

When the meat is cooked, you are ready to go!

Serve this on a bed of white rice (I use the American Easy Cook type)

Serves 4

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