Chicken Étouffée

Chicken Étouffée

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Straight from New Orleans, this fabulous Cajun/Creole main dish is simple and delicious. Chicken etouffée is a takeoff on Shrimp or crawfish etouffée. This type of recipe is simply meat "smothered" in a rich sauce made by starting with a roux, which is a mixture of fat and flour cooked together until the flour turns brown. 

Roux is a classic recipe that is used in many Cajun and Creole dishes. Most roux is made with oil—in this recipe, butter is added for more flavor and richness. As the flour browns in the fat, it begins to taste nutty, but the thickening power is lost. That's why so much flour is used in this recipe relative to the amount of liquid. Typically, a roux is cooked separately and added to the dish—in this recipe, the roux is cooked along with the chicken to save time.

You can find Cajun or Creole seasoning blends at most large supermarkets. They are a combination of spices including garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, lots of peppers, oregano, and other ingredients. Most are fairly spicy, so adjust the amount used in this recipe to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound small raw shrimp (deveined and peeled)
  • Garnish: chopped scallion (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Étouffée ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In large skillet, melt butter and oil together over medium heat.

    butter in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add vegetables and stir.

    vegetables and butter in the skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Meanwhile, cut chicken breasts into 3 pieces each.

    chicken breast pieces on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Dredge in a mixture of the flour, cayenne pepper, and the seasoning blend.

    coat chicken in the flour and seasoning mixture

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside on a plate.

    cooked vegetables on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add coated chicken to the skillet along with any remaining flour mixture; cook and stir until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. The flour and the chicken should both be brown.

    chicken cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Return vegetables to skillet along with chicken broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste.

    add chicken broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the chicken and vegetables in the skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce is thickened.

    chicken etouffee cooking in the skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Add shrimp to the skillet; simmer for 3 to 5 minutes longer until shrimp curl and turn pink.

    shrimp added to the chicken mixture in the skillet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Serve over hot cooked rice and garnish with chopped scallion. Enjoy!

    Chicken Étouffée

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Tips

  • Enjoy this rich and elegant recipe with some hot cooked rice to soak up the wonderful sauce.
  • A green salad tossed with tomatoes and mushrooms and drizzled with a simple vinaigrette, or make pear and greens salad.
  • A glass of white wine is a good accompaniment to this dish.