Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Happy Mardi Gras! After trolling Pinterest for recipes, I landed on a chicken and sausage étouffée on Food Network. I had made something similar in the past, but lost the recipe. This one wasn't it, I don't think, but it was good! However, the andouille sausage can be hard to find, and pricy. So while eating dinner, it occurred to me that I could replace the regular paprika with smoked paprika and get the smoky taste the sausage provides without actually using it. So here is my rethought version...I haven't tried it yet, but the only real difference is the one mentioned above. And I cut the size of the recipe down, since I was only feeding two of us.

Smoky Chicken Étouffée

2 T olive oil
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
6 T flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 bottle of brown ale (drink the other half!)
2 c chicken broth/stock
1 bay leaf
1 T smoked paprika
1 1/2 c instant brown rice

Preheat oven to 350*.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add skin side down to pot. Brown both sides of chicken, and remove to a plate. 

Add flour to drippings in pot and mix well. If necessary, add a little more oil to make all the flour wet, but still crumbly. Cook over low heat until the color of peanut butter. Add chopped onion, and cook until softened. Add beer and stir up brown bits from bottom of pot. Add broth, bay leaf, and paprika and mix well. Return chicken to pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven and cook until chicken is tender, about an hour.

Remove pot from oven. Place chicken on cutting board. Bring sauce to a simmer and add rice and 3/4 cup boiling water. Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit another 5 minutes. Check to see if rice is done. If not, add more boiling water if necessary and simmer another couple minutes, until rice is done to your liking. 

In the meantime, remove chicken from bones and chop into bite size pieces (watch for cartilage from the bones!). When rice is almost done, stir chicken in. Serve in bowls. 

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