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Entries in feed a crowd (1)

Tuesday
Nov012011

Gumbo Weather

 

Trying out my new iPhone app--Hipstamatic.  Beautiful weather for a bike ride, and did you know geese like Clif bars?  Don't worry, no geese were harmed in the making of this gumbo.  I was inspired by some okra that I bought at the farmer's market.  Realized that you don't have to put okra in gumbo.  You can thicken with a roux.  Then you have a better chance of your preteen eating it...

I knew the basics of gumbo include something to thicken it--in my case, roux; you can also use okra as a thickener but I was worried about the slime issue.  When you overcook okra it becomes slimy.  Slimy is bad as far as Sophie is concerned.  I was less brave than I should have been cooking the roux.  The thought of scorching it and then having to start over was daunting.  Instead of a deep mahogany color, my roux was slightly darker than peanut butter.  It was still delicious but I am wondering if it lived up to its potential.

 As you can see, this made a huge batch.  If you don't need to feed 8-10 people I would half this recipe.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

~1 lb chicken meat, cooked (I used left over meat but you could use a rotisserie chicken)

~1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2" rounds

~2 quarts chicken stock

2 bell peppers, 1/4" dice

4 stalks celery, 1/4" dice

1 large onion, 1/4" dice

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup flour

salt/pepper

smoked paprika

5 bay leaves

chipotle chili powder

cayenne pepper

big pinch dried oregano

4 large sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 TBS dried

In a large cast iron dutch oven brown the sausage and remove to plate to drain, reserving the drippings.  Put the 2 quarts of chicken stock in another saucepan and keep hot while you are making the roux.  To the dutch oven add 1/2 cup oil and heat over medium  heat.  Add the flour and stirring constantly, cook until the roux is a deep golden brown to mahogany or chocolate if you are feeling brave.  It will take about 30 minutes.  DO NOT STEP AWAY FROM THE POT!  If your roux burns you will have to start over.  You will likely have to keep nudging the temperature down as the roux cooks.  After you reach the desired color, add the chopped vegetables and cook for a few minutes.   Then add the hot stock by ladlefuls--Initially you will have a big floury clump of vegetables but keep stirring in the stock and it will smooth out.  Add the bay leaves, thyme, oregano;  add the paprika and chipotle/cayenne to taste.  Salt and pepper as needed--remember the sausage is fairly salty so don't over do it.  I adjust seasoning as I go.  Bring to a simmer and then add the meats.  Simmer for ~45 minutes.  Serve over steamed long-grain rice with sliced green onions.  Pass the gumbo file if you have it.