Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken Etouffee...no oven week 2 (week 10 or 12 for the life of the oven)

Or more things you can cook WITHOUT an oven! Things had briefly cooled off here and I wanted to bake up a storm, but that time has passed and it is back in the 90s!!!! Really mother nature? Lithium... look into it. The baking desire went unfulfilled at any rate because my oven still isn't working. We got rid of the demon stove and ordered a new one and it came in and it was all shiny and new and beautiful and I had high hopes that it would bake evenly without shutting itself off and all those other fancy things that stoves do!

The dutiful husband made space for the new oven, and then it was slid into place and after all the debris has been cleared and everyone else had long gone to bed, I walked into my kitchen to admire my new stove that I would soon be using with abandon. I walked up the stairs with images of smiles and warm feelings all around peeked into the kitchen and thought.... THAT IS THE DUMBEST LOOKING ARRANGEMENT I HAVE EVER SEEN! I promptly began my spiraling decent that often begins with something benign like "that stove doesn't look right" and ends with... "Well we're going to have to just sell the house, it's the only way". However after a few moments and a small number of measurements I realized we can fit a full (if not full-sized) stove with cook top all in one deal like normal people have into that space, because this simply will not do!

No your eyes are not deceiving you that is about 2 inches off the floor and my husband and I disagree as to whether or not the door sits on the floor when opened... combine that with the fact that the space to cook is about 18 X 12 inches and it MUST GO.  The worse part is... it looks better in the photo.

And then there is this little problem of hideous nature that would have to be replaced should we keep this oven.... which we're not.
It is stained, it is ancient, it is broken, it is ugly!  That's actually sawdust on it in the photo from where the darling husband had to make the whole bigger to fit the miracle midget II.

Google, google, google, discuss with husband... get the okay.... google, google, google, argue for the more expensive model, bring in brother-in-law for back up and wham-o! The new oven will be on its way as soon as we get someone to help us return the one we have now. Until then I am in need of some stove top recipes and am lucky enough that one of our favorite dishes is all done on the stove top. I found this recipe back when my husband and I were dating. I was recreating our first date to a fantastic Cajun restaurant in Montreal, and I happened to pair it with what ended up being our favorite wine. Although we can't get it here in the Midwest without ordering it and after a quick stop at their website I realize they have acquired more vineyards, and changed their labels and cork style... I'm very sad. It used to be a tiny vineyard, with a wax covered cork, and the grapes were still stomped by foot (not a big appeal actually), I will have to investigate further when I can actually drink wine again... however I did notice the prices were cheaper by quite a bit so that might be a fair trade.  And no feet.

Now I cannot tell you how rich and delicious this is. As you're making it even the aroma hints at the depths of it flavor. It starts all simple with a roux like so many Cajun dishes (actually I'm lying it starts with searing your chicken, but half raw seared chicken isn't the most appealing thing to look at, and the recipe is below after all).

Cook that down until it loosens up and become a chocolate brown, the deeper the better as long as you're not burning it. This step can take a minute but don't rush it, it makes a huge difference.

Add your veggies and stir. It will make a veggie sludge of sorts, that doesn't look very good but smells amazing. In fact every time I get to this step I think.... this might be good to eat as is but I manage to contain myself because as great as it smells, the combo of uncooked veggies and cooked roux probably isn't as good as the finished product.

Add the Guinness and scrap down any little brown bits (or flavor crystals as the husband calls them).... add your chicken back and simmer, simmer, simmer....... take the chicken off the bone, return to the pot and cook until desire texture and by that I mean.... if you want the chicken to completely fall apart a la chicken fricassee it will, otherwise you can stop the extra cooking step while the chicken is still in chunks. I personally like a little of both so I hold back half the chicken and add it back in 15 minutes later than the first half.

This is soooooo good you will forget that you don't have an oven, and as you munch down you think.... pass me the cornbread... ohhh.... and then you're sad again, but only until the next bite. If it is Fall weather at your house you must make this. Tonight. I served it over Israeli cous cous cooked in chicken broth instead of water but you can serve it over your favorite starch. We've done potatoes, and rice as well... it's all good.

1 comment:

  1. I am the same when it comes to furniture arranging; it's a gut reaction. It either looks right or it doesn't and I can't live with it if it doesn't!

    And congratulations on continuing to thrive in the kitchen, making delicious food despite the demon oven/inappropriate new oven. This looks so yummy and easy to make! I'm totally into using beer in cooking.