In 1991 Marcelle Bienvenu published a cookbook titled, “Who’s your Mama, Are you Catholic, and Can You Make a Roux?” I remember giggling when I first heard of this cookbook. These are the questions you use to be asked around town. Especially, who’s your Mama. After the connection is made, you might hear, How’s your mom and dem. Because saying “them” takes too long. This is one of the many reasons I love our Cajun culture.
So to answer the questions, Susan, yes and yes. I admit that before recognizing my gluten intolerance I bought jarred roux from one of the local producers and it worked fine. If you are not gluten intolerant might I suggest Rox’s Roux as an option for your next gumbo. It wasn’t until I had to make my own roux that I started experimenting with flour and oil combinations. I quickly realized that I did not need equal parts flour to oil but that I could reduce the oil and end up with a great roux with less fat. That’s a win, win!
Making a roux is a labor of love. If you don’t love on it by heating it slowly and stirring it often you will end up burning the roux and having to start over which I have had to do. There is a sweet spot in making a roux and there is a point when you know you have gone too far. The knowing you went to far is when you see black specks in the roux. Those black specks are burnt flour. Your gumbo, stew or fricassee will taste burnt so throw that batch of roux out.
Here are a few things you will have to comes to terms with when making a homemade roux. 1. It takes time. It takes an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to make a roux. I have never made one in less time without burning the roux. 2. A black iron pot or skillet isn’t a necessity but preferred. 3. A wooden spoon is preferred over others. These are just my suggestions. There is always more than one way to make a roux.
Does your family have a roux recipe they love? I love to hear about it!
Here is what you need to yield 1 cup of finished roux: (this recipe makes a small pot of gumbo meaning 3 chicken breasts and 3 links of smoked sausage)
1 cup of brown rice flour
½ cup of grapeseed oil
Combine ingredients in a black iron pot or skillet.
Mix well and set the pot over low heat.
Start stirring and don’t walk away more than 5 minutes or you may have to start over.
Every 15 minutes give the roux a vigorous stir insuring the roux is well mixed.
Repeat 4 times until the roux reaches a dark peanut butter color.
I have found that brown rice flour does not darken to the likes of wheat flour but it gets close. My gumbo is plenty dark and has the richness of a regular wheat based gumbo. My disclosure is I use a different flour and oil combination for seafood gumbo and that is coming soon. This roux works best for chicken and sausage gumbos or meat based preparations.