Sunday, August 9, 2009

chicken, sausage and shrimp etouffé

In addition to the beer thing, my other (probably larger) hobby is cooking.  When I can combine the 2, it becomes a giant Voltron of joy for me.

Tonight Travis and his parents are coming in from Ohio for the wedding.  Side note:  one week until we're married ohmygoodness!  I'm making etouffé, which is a sort of similar to gumbo, but sort of not.

Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Etouffé


-2 T extra virgin olive oil
-2 pounds andouille, chorizo or any other smoked sausage links
-1 whole chicken, skin on, broken down into 8 pieces
-20-25 medium shrimp with the tails left on, peeled and deveined
-kosher salt and pepper to taste
-4 T unsalted butter
-1.25 cups of all-purpose flour
-2 medium onions, roughly chopped
-1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
-1 poblano pepper, roughly chopped
-4 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
-8 cloves of garlic
-2 twelve ounce bottles/cans of beer
---I like a darker, full-bodied beer for this.  Nothing to heavy or malty, so steer clear of stouts and porters.  I'm using a doppelbock.
-8 cups (64 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
-4 bay leaves
-4 T paprika 
-1 t cayenne pepper
-1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
-4 scallions (whites and greens), diced


Get out your largest pot/dutch oven and set over medium to medium-high heat, depending on the strength of your burners.  Add the olive oil and let heat.  Add all of the sausage links and brown while some of the fat renders out.  Remove the links before they're cooked through and set aside.  Season the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper, add to pot skin side down.  Cover and cook for 7-10 minutes to render the fat from the skin.  Flip the pieces and continue to cook until they brown.  Remove pieces and set aside.

Keep pot over medium to medium-high heat and add the butter to the fat in the bottom of the pot.  Add the flour and whisk to incorporate, then switch to a flat whisk or wooden spoon.  Cook the mixture, stirring often, until it is brown, about the color of peanut butter.  A good brown roux should take about a beer or 10-12 minutes.

Get out a large capacity food processor and add onion, celery, poblano, bell pepper, and garlic, pulse to roughly chop.  Add this mixture to the pot with the roux and stir with the flat whisk/wooden spoon.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, then deglaze the pot with the beer.  Add the stock, bay leaves, paprika and cayenne.  Return the chicken pieces to the pot and simmer for one hour or until the chicken is tender.  Remove the chicken pieces and shred the meat.  Discard all the bones and return the meat to the pot.  Cut the sausage into 1 inch chunks and add to the pot to heat through.

While the sausage is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat.  Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and let heat.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper and cook in the skillet.  Add the shrimp to the pot with everything else just before serving.  Season the etouffé with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and garnish with parsley and scallions.

Serve over rice.  Tonight I'm serving this with homemade cornbread and a simple salad, with plenty of hot sauce options on the side.

Pair this dish with a crisp, floral beer.  Slight acidity or citrus flavors present would be preferable.  Try an IPA that's not too harsh on the IBUs or a wheat, saison, or belgian tripel.  Enjoy!

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