Curiously enough, the word étouffée is not unrelated to smothered, as in smothered chicken. The verb étouffer in French means to suffocate, choke, or smother. The cooking term étouffée in French kitchens refers to foods, principally meats, that have been cooked in a tightly covered utensil. No doubt the Creole étouffée and the original French term are related, but in this recipe the dish is not tightly covered.
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