Sunday, September 13, 2015

Roux - How to - with step-by-step photos

The essential start to many Cajun dishes, a good dark roux isn't hard to make, but it does take a lot of stirring and a watchful eye. Rule number one - Never turn your back on a roux!

A couple of years back, I shared this process with photos at the beginning of my chicken and sausage gumbo recipe but since a good old-copper-penny colored roux is so important to many Cajun dishes, I decided that perhaps it was time to give How to Make a Roux its own post.

1 1/2 cups or 190g plain flour
1 cup or 240ml oil (I prefer canola.)

In a heavy pot, preferably a black iron skillet or some other heavy gauge vessel, mix your flour and oil and stir until there aren't any lumps.

Cook the mixture over medium to medium high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until roux begins to turn brown.

0 minutes

7 minutes

12 minutes

14 minutes

18 minutes

20 minutes

22 minutes

24 minutes

Depending on temperature and the thickness of your pot, you may have to stir constantly because roux has a tendency to burn. A medium heat is safer; it just takes longer. Continue cooking until the roux turns a very dark, chocolate brown. Should the roux burn (Everyone does it at least once, so don’t feel too bad.) toss it out and start again, otherwise your entire dish will have that burnt taste.

27 minutes - it looks delicious but do NOT try to taste it. It's hotter than the hinges of hell and will burn your mouth off. Also, it doesn't actually taste good. 

The roux will be VERY hot so be careful when handling it and try to stir without splashing on yourself or a nearby “helper.”

In fact, it's best if you make your helper go sit on his bed.

Remove the roux from stove and cool it down quickly by adding whatever chopped vegetables are called for in your recipe or by setting the pot in a sink partially filled with cool water.

Store unused roux in a clean jar in the refrigerator once cooled, where it will keep for months.

Recipes with roux

Gram's Cajun Rice Dressing

Crawfish Étouffée

Chicken Spaghetti

Slow Roasted Pork

Cajun Courtbouillon or Shrimp and Fish Stew

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

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