*per request, here is the recipe I created for the crockpot etouffee I made today*
Crockpot Chicken Etouffee
bag of frozen peppers and onions
1 1/2 pounds of frozen chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
3 celery ribs
1/2 red onion
4-6 cloves of garlic (I like garlic, so I used more and added garlic powder—and it wasn’t strong at all)
1 can of Rotel tomatoes (or canned tomatoes with peppers)
2 bay leaves
few tablespoons of flour
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning), to taste
1) Start by sauteing the onions, peppers, and celery in a skillet till tender. Towards the end add garlic—this is to make sure it doesn’t burn. I am sure that you could possibly do this in the crockpot if it is fancy and has various settings—but alas mine does not.
2) Add contents of the skillet in the crockpot. Next place the can of tomatoes on top of other veggies. Followed by the chicken thighs, then the can of soup. Next, fill can of soup with water and pour over chicken to make sure it is covered.
3) Add spices. Keep in mind that Creole spices can become overwhelming quite easily, and once they are put in, you can’t take them out. I added about 1.5 tbsp of Creole, 1 tbsp of sea salt, and 2 tbsp of pepper at this point. You can always adjust later. Don’t forget the bay leaves.
4) If using frozen thighs, cook on high for about an hour till the thighs can become broken up. (This is a bit of a frivolous step, but if you are around to do it they cook faster)
5) Cook on low for anywhere between 5-8 hours. Around hour 5 the thighs should be able to be shredded with a fork. Shred meat and allow it to keep cooking for a little bit longer at least.
6) The etouffee will likely need thickening up. Several ways you can do this: leave the lid off for a while, corn starch, or the one I used—flour. With the flour method, simply place a few tbsp of flour in a small bowl. Then remove some of the liquid from the crockpot, and mix the two until smooth and rather thick. Then place the sauce in the bowl, back in the crockpot—stir together.
7) Make rice to serve etouffee on top of. I only eat brown rice anymore, and this is the best method to cook it. Feel free to also top it with cheese or sour cream/greek yogurt!
NOTE: This is the healthier version. Meaning I removed as much fat as I could from other recipes that I had seen. I would say that you could easily add more chicken to it—up to 2 pounds—and it would do well. You could also exchange the meat for any cut of chicken you wanted to use (although skinless and boneless are still good moves) or seafood. Crawfish is very traditional, as are shrimp. Beef wouldn’t be that wonderful—but if it shreds it can’t be that bad.
You can also use two cans of Cream of Mushroom—but this will add big time to your fat content.