Down Home Issue
1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds), skin on, cut into serving pieces
3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
¼ cup flour
Creole seasoning, to taste
½ pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 quarts unsalted chicken stock
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 green onions, finely chopped
Warm cooked white rice, for serving
Warm French bread, for serving
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 4- to 5-quart cast-iron pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
Pat chicken dry and season with Creole seasoning. Brown chicken on both sides in batches in the hot oil, turning, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring as chicken is browned to a large bowl.
When last batch is done, add remaining oil, then stir in flour with a large wooden spoon and cook over moderately low heat, scraping back and forth constantly, until roux is the color of milk chocolate, 10 to 20 minutes. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, and cook, scraping back and forth occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add bay leaf and stir.
Add chicken stock to roux mixture and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until roux is incorporated. (Roux will appear curdled initially, but will blend and become smooth as it reaches a boil.) Add chicken and any juices accumulated in bowl, then simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
Skim fat off top of stew. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in green onions, and serve over rice with French bread.