This Cajun chicken stew is a divine option for game day or dinner on a chilly evening! Adapted from Paul Prudhomme.
3 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup vegetable oil
2–1/2 pounds bone in chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 large onions, diced
4 bell peppers, diced (I used 2 green and 2 red)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
3/4 teaspoon thyme
4 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth, good quality canned or homemade
1–1/2 pounds andouille sausage cut into slices, then quartered
1 tablespoon filé powder or gumbo seasoning with filé powder
6 cups cooked white rice
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, lightly coat it with 1/4 cup of the flour, and tap off excess. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium high and add the celery, onions, and peppers and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Remove the vegetables and and set aside.
To make the roux, add 3/4 cup oil to the pot let it warm up for a few minutes over medium heat. Slowly add the remaining flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a deep mahogany brown color, about 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure to stir around sides and bottom to prevent scorching. If your roux burns, begin again.
When the roux is brown, add the cooked vegetables back to the pot, along with the garlic, cayenne, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir occasionally and cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slowly add the broth while stirring until blended. Add the chicken and the sausage. Bring to a simmer and skim off excess fat. Simmer uncovered, continuing to skim off any foam or fat, until the chicken is fall off the bone tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and bones from the pot. Discard the bones and return bite sized pieces of chicken to the pot.
Bring the stew to a boil and whisk in the filé powder to avoid clumping, until the filé powder is dissolved. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
Serve over the cooked white rice.
The andouille sausage renders a lot of grease, so if you make this stew the day before you serve it, you can remove the chilled fat from the surface before you reheat it.