Louisiana chicken stew

Yield: 12 servings

Measure Ingredient
¼ cup Vegetable oil
2 larges Whole chicken breasts (about 3 pounds), skin on, cut into 8 pieces (you may use boned breasts)
12 \N Chicken thighs (about 4 lb)
¼ cup All-purpose flour
1½ cup Coarsely chopped onion
2 cups Coarsely chopped celery
2 mediums Green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1 can Tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice (32 oz)
4 tablespoons Tomato paste
1 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce, to taste
4 cups Chicken broth or stock
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
2 larges Bay leaves
2 larges Garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black pepper
¼ pounds Precooked, coarsely chopped andouille sausage or other spicy garlic sausage

NOTE: This tasty stew will reward you for the time it takes to make a proper roux, which add depth.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Working in small batches over medium-high heat, brown the chicken pieces on all sides (skin side down first). With thongs, remove each browned batch to a platter.

After all the chicken is browned, make a New Orleans-style roux; Pour the remaining oil form the Dutch oven into a measuring cup. Return ¼ cup to the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the flour and stir, scraping flour from the bottom of the pan as it slowly browns. Stir constantly until the roux is a rich brown, the color of a paper bag. (Be careful: When a roux begins to brown, it can burn very quickly and will continue to cook, even off the heat, until liquid is added.) This will take about 20 minutes.

Immediately stir in the onions, celery and peppers. Cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, bay leaves, broth, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer

Remove the skin and visible fat from the chicken. Return to the pan.

Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Add the sausage. Skim off fat as it collects on top of the sauce. Cook another 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thick.

TO SERVE AFTER FREEZING: Thaw as recommended. Reheat slowly in a covered pot over medium-low heat. Serve in shallow soup dishes over freshly cooked white rice. Serves 12.

Per serving (1½ pieces of chicken, with rice): 669 calories, 68 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 2.7 grams fiber, 24 grams fat (5⅘ grams saturated), 747 milligrams sodium.

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