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Using a roux

How much roux do you make? I realize this will vary from dish to dish depending on how thick you want it to be. When I do 8 quarts of Jambalaya I have been using a 5 tblsp flour, 5 tblsp fat. Does that seem like a lot to you or a little?

jb

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  1. ive never used a roux in jambalaya. gumbo yes, but never in jambalaya. different strokes i guess.

    the real question isnt does that seem like alot or a little to us, its do you enjoy the dish? do you feel the sauce is the right thickness and texture? do you love the taste? if yes, then you are using the perfect amount of roux.

    1. Are you talking about gumbo? There is no roux in jambalaya.

      It is hard to give you a precise proportion of roux to liquid without first talking about how dark your roux is. Generally the darker the roux, the less thickening power it has. For 8 quarts of gumbo, I would generally do a chocolate colored roux of about 3/4 c. of oil and another 3/4 c. of flour.

      1. I am talking about Jambalaya. I have no idea if a roux is traditional/authentic, but you can find lots of recipes where it's used. I'm not so much looking for if my amount is correct, just looking to have a conversation about how people use roux.

        jb

        7 Replies
        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          Never heard of using a roux in jambalaya. But for gumbo, my oil/flour proportions are usually 3-to-2. I also use a cast iron skillet over low-to-medium heat, stirring constantly. Takes me around an hour to 90 minutes to get it dark enough for me.

          1. re: JuniorBalloon

            How do you incorporate the roux into the Jambalaya? Before the rice?

            1. re: sr44

              Yes, right before I add the chicken stock, I add the roux. After adding the chicken stock I let it heat up and add the rice.

              jb

            2. re: JuniorBalloon

              Jambalaya is a rice dish, gumbo is a stew. In gumbo the roux is a thickening agent. The dark roux is also a flavoring.

              1. re: paulj

                I understand they are different dishes. I like my Jambalaya with a roux. I like mine the consistency of a medium thick gravy. I have seen it all the way from soupy to as thick as a paella.

                https://www.google.com/search?q=roux+...

                jb

                1. re: JuniorBalloon

                  Is the roux being used as a thickening agent, or flavoring.

                  Rice dishes can have different consistencies depending on the liquid to water ratio. While Spanish paella is 'dry', with all of the liquid being absorbed or evaporated, the Spanish also make 'caldoso' (soupy) rice, and 'melloso' (medium soupy).

                  But since you are using the roux along with rice, and want a particular consistency, your own experience is a better guide than textbook proportions.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I use it both for flavor, I like that nutty cooked flour flavor, and for thickening. I also like to use arborio rice as it produces a nice creamy element as it cooks.

                    jb

            3. if im doing gumbo, and a bunch of it, i do my roux in the oven. at a low constant temperature, that way i dont need to stir as often and i dont burn it when trying to get a nice dark, nutty, roux.

              if im just doing a gravy or bechamel or something i basically just cook it till the raw cereal taste is gone, and i eye ball how much i need.

              1. A good rule of thumb for a basic white sauce with a blonde roux is 1:1:1 - that is, one T of butter to one T of flour to one cup of milk. That will give you a standard white sauce, and you can adjust from there.

                Dark roux is an entirely different story, though - it has very little thickening power, and is only there for flavor.

                4 Replies
                1. re: biondanonima

                  Little thickening power? That is very interesting. Is that because of a change to gluten when heated for along period of time?

                  jb

                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                    Heat enables the starch molecules in the flour to absorb water and thicken a solution. Exposing those starch molecules to high heat over an extended period, however, degrades the starch into polysaccharides, which cannot absorb water or thicken.

                  2. re: biondanonima

                    I'll have to do the math on my current jambalya ratio. Off the top of my head I'm not sure how much liquid I use. I generally add chicken stock/broth. At the 1:1:1 that would be 5 cups of chicken stock. Pretty sure I'm adding more and I would like it to be thicker. In light of the darker roux's having less thickening action (I'm doing a peanut butter colored roux) I'll take that into account as well.

                    jb

                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      If you want a thicker final product, I would suggest adding some blonde roux instead of increasing the amount of dark roux.