Saturday, March 10, 2012

If Life Gives You Pots, Make Gumbo!

I suppose you could say this is the second part of

I had fun writing that post. It sure fooled a lot of people. They thought they were clicking onto a recipe for Gumbo--the kind you eat!

So, I thought I'd make amends and share my easy Gumbo recipe with you.

We have many recipes influenced by Creole/Cajun cooking here in the Delta.
Staples in our garden are tomatoes, okra, onions,
beans (of all kinds), hot peppers, and greens.
Staples on our shelves are rice, beans,
lots of herbs and seasonings, and hot sauce.

There's a controversy whether gumbo is Creole or Cajun.
I asked Google and loved one explanation:
"Gumbo is a Creole dish that has been adopted by Cajuns!"
Now, that's covering all bases.

There are as many Gumbo recipes as there are cooks. 
The only rule of thumb for ingredients is:
 Stock. Meat. The "holy trinity" of celery, bell pepper, and onion.
Okra and/or a roux to thicken it.
Almost any meat such as sausage, chicken, turkey, crayfish, shrimp
leftover meats will make a tasty gumbo.

The following recipe has been adapted over the years in our family.
It has less fat and is not as thick as most Gumbos in the South.
All ingredients are easily adjusted to your taste.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
The "Light" Version

 3-4 chicken breasts
12 oz smoked sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup onion
1/2 cup bell pepper
1/2 cup celery
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning (red pepper,
black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder)
2 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can tomatoes (optional)
(I used 1 can of "Rotel")
6-12 oz. or more chopped frozen or fresh okra

Place chicken breasts in a stock pot. 
Cover with water and cook until tender. 
(I also added basil, wine, and a piece of celery.)


Remove chicken. Set chicken broth aside. 
Remove bones from chicken. Break into pieces.
Coarsely chop the smoked sausage and brown in a heavy pot. Remove from pot.

Add flour to sausage drippings. Slightly brown flour in drippings, stirring constantly.
If you desire a thicker Gumbo, brown 1/2-3/4 cup flour.

Add a little reserved chicken broth to the flour mixture,
stirring until there are no more lumps
 and the mixture is like a thick gravy.

Looks like this needs more blending!

Add all remaining vegetables and seasonings.
Note: The onion, bell pepper, and celery may be cooked til tender in olive oil, butter, or broth before adding. This step is optional. It does give the Gumbo a slightly richer taste.

Add strained, reserved broth. Cover vegetables well. 
More broth may be added as the liquid evaporates.
Cover. And, sit back and wait.

Let the Gumbo simmer until the vegetables are cooked. 
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. 
The longer it simmers, the better it tastes!

If you desire a thick broth, 
add more okra and/or a little flour mixed with the hot broth,
or add some cooked rice.

Gumbo smells soooooooooo good while it's cooking!
Expect visitors in the kitchen!

Serve your Gumbo over cooked rice--
with cornbread!
Garnish, if you like, with diced tomato and chopped onion.

"John tested and approved!"

"More, please?"


Marie said...

I'm one of those you fooled! Glad to see the recipe. thanks

Dru said...

The gumbo I ate growing up was much thicker and contained a high fat content from the sausage and the roux made out of bacon grease. This version is so much lighter and has lots less fat. Very good!

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