big easy dinner...

This weekend the New Orleans Saints will play in their very first Super Bowl game. In my house we always root for the underdog when it comes to these big games (unless of course Navy or Oklahoma is playing and then there is no doubt who gets our support!). Now don't get me wrong, I like the Colts and have a very soft spot in my heart for the Manning brothers, I just think it's the time for the Saints to have their shot at the dream.

My husband used to travel quite a bit to New Orleans for business. One of his favorite dishes was crayfish etouffee. I have made gumbo before but never this particular dish. I saw a recipe for Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee in the Jan/Feb issue of Food Network Magazine that looked awesome. So this week in honor of our Saints I made the dish.

It was a home run! Sorry, wrong sport. It was a touchdown! My boys loved the spicy sausage and thick consistency of the etouffee. The flavors were nicely balanced and it wasn't too spicy for me, the lover of all things mild. I served it over jasmine rice which soaked up the stew and complimented the overall flavor portfolio. I will definitely be making it again.

GO Saints!

Celebrate the Feast!

Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage, diced
3 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and andouille and cook, stirring, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Season the chicken with salt, then add to the pot in batches to brown, 5 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate with the andouille.

Make the roux: Remove the pot from the heat and cool slightly (there should be about 1/4 cup drippings; drain or add oil as needed). Return the pot to medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture smells nutty and turns a deep brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk in the broth. Return the chicken and andouille to the pot and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool slightly while the stew simmers; remove the skin and shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Stir in the shrimp and sherry and cook until the shrimp turn pink, 2 to 3 more minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.