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Chicken Etouffee with Butternut Squash and Apples

A modern Fall Cajun and Creole style stew – with wonderful vibrant flavors.
Étouffée is a French word which means “smothered,” and is typically served over rice.

A “smothered” stew rich with vegetables, apples and chicken that falls-off-the-bone

A "smothered" stew rich with vegetables,  apples and chicken that falls-off-the-bone

Ingredients

This is a Gluten-Free recipe which works wonderfully. Substitute the rice flour and gluten-free flour for regular flour if desired (3 T. total)

6 large bone-in chicken thighs, about 2 ½ pounds

3 teaspoons salt-free cajun seasoning, divided

3 tablespoons neutral oil*, divided

1 cup butternut squash, use the long neck, peeled, cut ¼” half-moons

1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cut into ¼” slices

1 tablespoon rice flour

2 tablespoons all purpose gluten free flour

½ cup leeks, or onion, cleaned, ¼ ” slices

½ cup bell peppers, mixed colors, ¼” dice

½ cup celery, cleaned, ¼” dice

2 tablespoons fresh garlic, peeled, coarse chop

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 medium bay leaves

½ teaspoon cane sugar

½ teaspoon hot chile flakes, (for medium spice)

¼ cup white wine

2 ½ cups home made chicken broth

½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, just leaves, discard stems

Instructions

1

Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat (remove skin if desired.) Place on a plate to fit, season all over with 2 t. cajun spice.
Heat a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven to medium with 1 T. oil. Add the chicken skin side down. Cook until dark-golden, turn over with tongs. Cook the second side until dark-golden, remove to the plate.

2

Add the butternut squash and apples. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until golden around the edges, yet still firm.
Add the the plate with the chicken.
Add 2 T. oil and the rice flour and gluten-free flour to the pan (or 3 T. regular flour.) Turn heat down to medium low. Whisk to combine, and scrape up and chicken bits for flavor.
This “roux” is the thickening agent for the sauce. Stir for 10 minutes, (patience here) until the color of peanut butter.

3

Add the vegetables – leeks, peppers, celery and garlic. Stir one minute.
Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, chile flakes, reserved 1 teaspoon cajun seasonings and white wine.
Whisk to combine, 1 minute.
Raise heat to high. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, whisk to make the sauce. When the sauce boils, and it is smooth add the remaining 1 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

4

Add the reserved chicken pieces, squash and apples. Stir to coat.
Cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is very tender, and falls off the bone.

5

Add the thyme leaves and taste for salt.

6

Serve over rice – a multi-grained one is perfect!

* with concerns about gmo’s and processing of oils, use a vegetable oil which has not been chemically treated, this is called “expeller pressed”.

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