CHICKEN STEW WITH CARROTS AND POTATOES
Time: 4-6 hrs
Makes about 10 servings
- thick-bottomed pot, that holds at least 6 qts (the thick pot is important; otherwise, it will be very easy to burn the food)
- 10 oz seasoning blend
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil to coat the bottom of your pot
- Season-all of your choice; Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning is ours
- At least 16 ozs of roux (Savoie’s is a local choice for us)
- 1 tsp minced garlic, from a jar is fine
- 3 large white potatoes
- 4 carrots
- 7 chicken thighs
- Water…probably about a gallon and a half; we use filtered
- Pour in the vegetable oil and turn your burner to medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around to make sure it coats the bottom of your pot. Give this about a minute to heat up, and pour in half the bag of seasoning blend. Add a few sprinkles of seasoning and stir.
2. Let the seasoning blend cook without stirring for a few minutes, until you hear sizzling and see that there isn’t much oil left.
3. Add a little bit of water-just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pot- and use a non-metal spoon or spatula to quickly scrape any brown bits from the bottom. Now, you’ll repeat this process: leave it alone for a minute or two, until you hear sizzling and there’s barely any water left in the pot. Add a little bit more water, scrape your browned bits from the bottom, and let it cook. You’ll repeat this process probably 4 times, or until you can see that the seasoning blend is cooked down and browned.
4. Add about 1 gallon of water, and be sure you’ve scraped everything from the bottom of the pot at this point. Cover and wait for the water to boil.
5. Once boiling, add roux. We add about 7oz at this stage.
6. Start stirring, add in 1 tsp of minced garlic, and season to your liking. We personally add 8 tsp of season-all at this stage.
7. Continue stirring. Once you’re sure the roux is dissolved, put the lid on, and let the roux continue to cook at a slight boil, which should be medium-low heat.
8. After the first 30 mins, you should taste for flavor. Know that you will definitely taste the undercooked roux, but you’re checking for seasoning, and seeing how thick the roux is. We usually add another spoon or two of roux and a little more seasoning at this stage.
9. Continue to taste every 30 minutes, and add more roux or seasoning as you feel necessary. Note that every time you add more roux, you’ll need to cook the stew even longer, or run the risk of tasting undercooked roux in your end product.
10. Wash, peel, and chop your carrots and potatoes. Make sure your pieces are a consistent size.
11. Once your gravy is the desired consistency, add the carrots and potatoes. You can turn the heat up to medium-high, so that when you add the vegetables, it won’t take as long to return to boiling.
12. Stir, put the lid on, and continue to cook while maintaining a slight rolling boil. (note: we add a little salt or seasoning at the next 30 min check, as potatoes tend to soak up seasoning)
13. Cut your chicken into equally-sized pieces, and season.
14. Every 30 minutes, continue to stir, taste, and add seasoning if desired. Once you have the desired consistency and your carrots and potatoes are tender, you can move on to the next step.
15. Add the chicken. Stir, make sure the stew is boiling, replace lid, and cook for 30 more minutes.
We serve this stew over white rice, with a side of boiled eggs.
This whole process will take 4-6 hrs, but getting the base right is the key to a delicious stew!
Consider that after adding the chicken, the stew will taste less seasoned. You may want to add a little more seasoning to compensate before adding the chicken.
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