Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Louisiana cookin'!
     Andouille sausage and chicken is a great combination for a traditional gumbo.  There is so much great flavor in a Cajun fil'e gumbo.  You can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your own taste if "spicy hot" is an issue.
     The secret to a good gumbo is the roux.  The rule of thumb for Cajun roux making is:  For light colored meat, use a dark red, brown or black roux and for dark colored meat use a white or blonde roux.  This gumbo requires a brown roux.  When making roux, wear a long sleeved shirt and protective gloves.  The hot butter and flower roux can cause serious burns, even from a small splatter.  You can not stop stirring a dark roux once you start making it, or the roux will burn.
     Have all the ingredients ready before starting to cook the roux.
     Recipe:  Cook some plain white long grain rice and keep it warm.
     Small dice 1 small handful of celery, 2 small handfuls of onion and 1 small handful of mixed green and red bell pepper.  (This is what Cajun cooks call the Trinity.  The proportion is 2 parts onion, 1 part celery, 1 part bell pepper.)
     Slice 2 green onions into small pieces.
     In a high sided sauce pot, heat some unsalted butter over medium heat.  Add an equal amount of flour to the butter and start stirring gently with a whisk.  Constantly stir the roux without stopping till the roux cooks to a brown color.
     As soon as the roux turns brown, add the chopped Trinity vegetable mixture and the green onions.  (The roux will stop cooking and the vegetables will instantly be cooked because of the high temperature of the roux.)
     Stir the vegetables and roux together.
     Add 2 handfuls of small diced raw boneless chicken.
     Add a diced small tomato.
     Add some thick sliced andouille sausage.  (About a 6 ounce piece of andouille will do.)
     Stir till the chicken starts to cook.
     Add some rich chicken stock while stirring.  Add enough broth so the ingredients are covered by 2 inches of liquid.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a bay leaf.
     Add a few pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add a few pincghes of paprika.
     Add a few pinches of thyme leaf.
     Add a pinch each of tarragon, marjoram, oregano and basil.
     Add some sliced okra.  (Okra translates gumbo in African language.)
     Bring the gumbo to a boil oover medium high heat.
     Turn the heat to medium low and let the gumbo simmer.
     Add a few pinches of finely chopped parsley.
     Simmer and stir the gumbo for 20 to 30 minutes.
     The gumbo should be a light medium thickness.
     Just before serving, stir in some fil'e powder.  (Fil'e powder is fine ground sassafras leaf.)  The fil'e powder will slightly thicken the gumbo as well as add flavor.
     Place some rice in a soup bowl using a ring mold.
     Ladle the gumbo around the rice in the bowl.  Garnish the gumbo with a parsley sprig.
     The color of the gumbo comes from the dark brown roux.  All the ingredients combine to become one of the greatest flavors in all of cooking.  A Louisiana gumbo!  Andouille is a Louisiana spicy smoked pork sausage.  The sausage and chicken are so nice together in this gumbo.  This is Louisiana comfort food and gumbo is great for warming up on a chilly day.  Especially if you put a generous amount of cayenne pepper in the gumbo.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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