Monday, March 12, 2012

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo is a Cajun/Creole specialty that is a mainstay of Bayou cuisine. It's a thick, stewlike dish that can have many ingredients including vegetables such as okra, tomatoes and onions and one or several meats.

My first lesson in making this dish was in a class titled "On the Bayou: Cajun Cuisine." Brian Casson is a great Home Chef originally from the Florida Panhandle. I loved the class it and have been experimenting with Gumbo, Sauce Piquant, and Jambalaya ever since. We even learned how to make our own Cajun seasoning. Gumbo has emerged as a favorite dish for both myself and family.

The Gumbo Preparation is complete

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 cup okra, sliced
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup Cajun seasoning.
12 oz. andouille sausage (or smoked sausage)
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Gumbo file
Steamed basmati rice

In a Rondeau pot cook butter and flour over medium heat until you have a medium dark roux (chocolately texture), about 10-12 minutes. Add celery, bell peppers, onions, and okra, cook for about 5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning, chicken, and sausage and saute until chicken becomes opaque, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, worcestershire sauce and chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes; sauce will thicken. Serve with steamed basmati rice and file (fee-lay).

I only wish I could save the aroma as part of the photo

Culinary Note: You will notice in many dishes that the flavor base is onions, carrots, and celery; commonly referred to as mirepoix. In the Southern United States, they replace the carrots with bell peppers (such as in this dish), and refer to it as "The Holy Trinity."

The "Holy Trinity" and Roux

This dish is an explosion of flavors which all compliment each other. There is a strong spicy bite with a hint of sweetness which leaves you craving more. Each time I make this, I eat too much; as does everyone around me. I hope you love it as much as we do.

My Nephew Sam who is fast becoming a fabulous Cook. He did all the cooking that evening. 

I am looking forward to planning a trip to the Louisiana Bayou to enjoy more authentic Cajun fare.

Happy Eating.

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