Last Modified: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:44 PM
Big games like the Super Bowl warrant robust flavored foods that not only fill you up, but give you that extra nudge towards a nap in case the NFL title game is a dud, or an exciting game in which you will need a full belly to get a good night sleep.
Sauce piquant is a Cajun-inspired dish that features wild game or meats most cooks are comfortable cooking.
Piquant is “French for a flavor that can be spicy, tart, or pungent” according to “The Food Lover’s Companion.”
For the purpose of knowing exactly what we are referring to, a sauce piquant is basically a tomato-based sauce with a touch of roux in it.
Another important aspect of the sauce is that it needs to be cooked for several hours on a low fire.
That means you want to start this dish in the morning in order to have it finished by game time.
What follows is a chicken sauce piquant recipe from one of Louisiana’s top chefs, Donald Link.
• 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, deboned, cut in 1-inch pieces
• Spice mix (recipe follows)
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil or lard
• 1 cup flour
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 small poblano pepper
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
• 3 stalks celery, diced
• 5 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
• 2 cups canned tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
• 4 bay leaves
• 5 cups chicken stock
• 4 dashes hot sauce
• Hot cooked rice
• Dried scallions, for garnish
• Toss chicken in spice mix, making certain the chicken is evenly coated. Wash your hands.
• In a wide-bottom pot or Dutch oven, heat oil until it begins to smoke slightly. While waiting, coat the chicken with the flour in a large mixing bowl, tossing the chicken with your hands to make sure it all gets coated well. Shake excess flour off the chicken, reserving the leftover flour.
• Pan fry the chicken over medium heat. Don’t crowd the pan with the chicken or it will not get the right color.
• The pieces should be side by side, not one on top of the other. When chicken has reached the desired color, remove it from the pan with a slotted spatula. Mostly you will have to do this in two batches.
• Add the remaining flour to the oil in the pan, and cook over medium heat for about five minutes to make a medium brown roux.
• Add onions, peppers, garlic and celery, and cook five minutes more. Add the tomatoes, chicken and dried thyme, bay leaves, stock and hot sauce.
• Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Serve over rice with freshly diced scallions.
• 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
• 2 teaspoons black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
• 2 teaspoons cayenne
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• Combine all ingredients.
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Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 494-4090.