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Old 08-16-2006, 09:01 PM   #1
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Dry Roux

I don't do a lot of cooking that calls for a true roux, but now and then I find something I want to make that does.

Tonight I'm making Lemon Chicken with Sour Cream Sauce from Lee Bailey's The Way I Cook, a fabulous kbook my wife recently bought.

Bailey's recipe calls for "dry roux," which is simply browned flour, or roux without the fat. He points out that it's very handy and can keep for months in a sealed jar. Adding it to recipes with sufficient fat results in that nice nutty flavor associated with roux, and thickens the sauce well.

To make it, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of all purpose flour in a skillet (Bailey calls for the traditional cast iron skillet but I cheated and used a Caphalon nonstick skillet, which worked very well) that's been heated over a hot fire, and stir it now and then until it's nicely browned. I Googled "dry roux" and found one suggestion that was helpful -- it's done when it's the color of a brown paper bag. The nonstick skillet worked well because I could flip the flour as it cooked, minimizing the need for stirring. The result was nice, and it worked well with the recipe (which I'll post, including my mods, if it's as good as it smells.).

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Old 08-16-2006, 09:12 PM   #2
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My Mother does this. She puts the flour in her cast iron frying pan. We use it for pork, duck and rabbit recipes. The taste is great.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:15 PM   #3
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So it's really toasted flour, not roux as there is no fat.
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:17 PM   #4
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I should have known Lorraine would reply to this , as it is traditionally used to thicken "porc ragoux(sp)", a french canadian dish that both of us grew up with. I simply put the flour in a 9x13 pan to brown under the broiler, stirring frequently.
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
So it's really toasted flour, not roux as there is no fat.
True, but when you add the fat, voila! N'est pas?
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
True, but when you add the fat, voila! N'est pas?
Of course, but then it's no longer dry, it's a roux, capice?
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:43 PM   #7
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I had never heard it referred to as a "dry roux". As a professional all roux's that I have heard of contain a thickening agent and a fat. Then we have slurries, but we won't go there. My family just referred to it as toasted flour.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:17 AM   #8
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Bailey has taken some "liberties" in his definition of roux. Roux is, in fact, a mixture of starch and fat. Browned flour without fat is not a roux - it is browned flour. When the browned flour is mixed with fat ... THEN it becomes a roux.

Now, on the other side or the coin ... browned flour can give a "quick" roux the flavor of a long cooked roux. That has been known for a long time!
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:05 PM   #9
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Perhaps that's why Bailey calls it "dry roux" -- it ain't really roux until the four is mixed with the fat, but it's handy to have on the shelf for quick thickening of soups and stews, which was my point.

It's apparently a fairly common staple of Southern cooking -- try Googling the term "dry roux" or look it up in John Folse's incredible cookbook, "The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine," at page 133 (2004 edition). Folse lists five different rouxes, including a dry roux he calls "Oil-Less Roux."
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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BTW, the Lemon Chicken with Sour Cream Sauce was good, but nothing really special. Lemon flavor was weak, despite 2 tablespoons of zest. Maybe some of the juice would have helped....
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