From, "Tell Me More, A Cookbook Spiced with Cajun Traditions and Food Memories," published in cooperation with your Daily Inbox Newsletter.

INGREDIENTS for Hen Sauce Piquante:

  • 1 hen

  • 1/4 cup steak seasoning

  • 4 cups chopped onion

  • 2 cups chopped bell pepper

  • 1/3 cup minced garlic

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

  • 6 (12 ounce) cans chicken broth

  • 1 cup roux (see below for recipe)

  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomatoes

  • 1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

  • Water

  • 2 cups chopped green onion

  • Salt and pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS for Basic Roux:

  • 2/3 cup flour

  • 3/4 cup oil

TO PREPARE Hen Piquante:

Cut hen into small pieces.  Sprinkle with steak seasoning and brown completely in large pot.  Remove hen.  Leave drippings and add onions and bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.  Saute until tender.  Add chicken broth and bring to boil.  Add roux and stir constantly.  Add tomatoes and can of cream of mushroom soup.  Add water and stir well.  Allow to cook in oven at 325 degrees for three hours.  Remove and add green onions and let sit for ten minutes.  Serve over rice.

TO PREPARE Basic Roux:

Mix the flour and oil in a heavy iron pot until it is thoroughly mixed before you turn on the fire under the pot.  After it is mixed, turn the fire on to medium to low, stirring constantly.  Stir all over the bottom of the pot to be sure that no particles stick to the bottom.  As you stir, the roux browns slowly.  Don't cookyour roux fast, because as it reaches the done point, it will be too hot and burn.  When your roux is a rich dark brown, turn off the heat immediately, continuing to stir.  Add water to lower the temperature slightly so the roux will stop browning.  Or, you can add chopped onions and/or bell peppers to lower temperature.  Continue stirring, return to heat and add the remainder of the ingredients for your stew or gumbo.

A heavy pot is a must to make a pretty roux.  The heavier the pot, the easier your job will be.  Before you start your roux, start heating water in kettle, the amount depending on whether you are making a gumbo or a stew.  You must always add hot water to a roux.  It is very important not to change the temperature of the roux by adding cold water to it.  The measurements given above make a rouxlarge enough for a stew with 1 hen, or a gumbo with two pounds of shrimp. 

NOTE:  If you wish to make a larger recipe, enlarge the recipe in the same proportions given.  We feel it to be important to use more oil than flour.

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