Roux is a mixture of equal parts of oil and flour. I have seen it made with butter, but I prefer to use Canola oil. Any type of veggie oil is fine, though I have never seen peanut oil nor olive oil used in the preparation.
To make the roux, start with your best heavy bottomed pot. Cast iron works great but any pot with a thick bottom will work. Add your flour and oil to the pan before turning the heat on and stir until the lumps are gone. Use a flat bottomed wooden spoon like the one in the pic. This will help to scrape the bottom of the pan as you are stirring. Below is what the mixture should look like……
When making your roux it is VERY important to stir it every second of the way! You will risk burning the mixture and then you must start over. So, go to the bathroom, turn your cell phone off and tell the kids/spouse to leave you alone for the next 30 minutes! NOTHING can take you away from this chore!
Your ultimate goal is to make the roux to a dark copper color. You will notice the roux goes through several color changes over time. I have heard Cajuns claim they can identify 11 different colors when making roux!
Initially, it will bubbly vigorously as the flour is incorporated into the oil and it releases all the moisture. You can see these small bubbles in the pic above on the lower right hand side of the pot. Eventually this bubbling stops and the mixture becomes smooth again.
One word of warning……this stuff will become VERY hot and it is really sticky, sp please be careful to not splash any on you! It is known as “Cajun Napalm” for good reason!
Plan on about 25-30 minutes to reach the proper color. This is an estimate only, as each stove top and heat setting is different. After about 20 minutes the roux will reach the color of peanut butter as seen below. You will also notice the amazing fragrance of the nutty roux. Makes you want to start eating it right now!!
The correct color is shown below. To judge for yourself, just picture a well worn penny.
Once the roux is finished cooking, turn off the heat and continue on with your recipe.