Cajun Chicken Stew


3 to 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (3- to 31/2-lb) chicken, cut into serving pieces
2-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Tbsp Diced Green Bell Pepper Dried
1 celery rib, chopped
3 Cups water
1/4 tsp Cayenne, or to taste
3/4 Cup thinly sliced scallion greens

cooked white rice for serving


Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot (preferably cast-iron) over moderately-high heat until hot but not smoking. Pat chicken pieces dry and sprinkle with salt. Brown the chicken in the heavy pan in 4 batches, turning after a few minutes, (about 5 min total per batch), transferring each, once it’s browned, to a large bowl.

Reduce burner to low. Add enough of the remaining olive oil to the cooking pot to total 1/4 cup of fat, then stir in the flour, using a flat metal or wooden spatula and cook, scraping back and forth constantly (not stirring), until roux is a light chocolate brown, 10 to 20 min. Add onion and celery to the roux and cook, scraping back and forth occasionally with your spatula, until the onion is softened and a little translucent, about 8 min.

Add water to roux mixture, turn up the burner, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until roux and water are fully incorporated. (Roux will appear lumpy and curdled initially, but will come together as it reaches a boil.) Add browned chicken and any juices accumulated in bowl, and the bell pepper, then simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.

Stir in cayenne, scallion greens, and salt to taste. Serve over rice.