Sunday, September 30, 2007

Theme Week: New Orleans: Gumbo

For the next week I have decided to cook based on my Nola favorites. I have been craving the spicy and hearty food Nola is famous for so this idea of mine is going to work out fine. On tonight's menu it's Chicken and Andouille Gumbo, a huge favorite of mine as well as Chad's.
I lived in Nola from 1989-2003, and although I go back a couple times a year I miss that city very much.
There was always something to do in Nola. With its wonderful history, beautiful parks with spanish moss hanging from the tree limbs, the colorful neighborhoods, interesting shopping boutiques (in the french quarter and on magazine st.), and of course the food. I was pretty damn content while living there (Mid City a block from City Park).
Tonight I made a chicken and andouille (has to be andouille!) sausage gumbo. I decided to make the roux ahead of time to cut down on the cooking time. If you have ever made a gumbo roux you'll know that it takes a good 20-30 minutes of stirring until you've got the perfect chocolate color. I'll admit, I stirred this roux for about 45. I was so afraid of burning it because if you do you have to start over. Next time I'll crank the heat a bit to cut down the time. I served with a scoop of rice, a sprinkling of file powder, and crusty french bread for dipping. Oh, and I always have a bottle of Crystal or Louisiana brand hot sauce to kick it up a little more.

The Roux:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil (you can use any oil except olive, or fat such as bacon drippings or lard)

Heat oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over med. low heat add flour whisk until completely combined. replace the whisk with a wooden spoon a stir away until you reach the color of chocolate. The roux will change color stages after about every 3-5 minutes, so this should take about 20-30 minutes, but maybe more depending on your heat level. Be careful not to burn, and make sure to have a beer or glass of wine handy to keep you company!


The Other Ingredients:
  • Meat from rotisserie chicken (I cheated this time, you could use any meat you like and roast or put in raw. If you do raw, make sure to simmer for a couple hours. I personally love dark meat in a gumbo)
  • 3 cups andouille sausage (slice link in half long ways, then by half again and dice)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion (or one whole med. onion)
  • 2-3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 med. green pepper chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup fresh okra trimmed on both ends and sliced
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • couple dashes of worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • couple shakes of Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning
  • Pepper to taste
Procedure:

Heat a little oil in a heavy stock pot over medium heat, and saute the trinity (onions, celery, pepper) until onions are soft. Add sausage and cook for about 4 minutes. Add chicken, okra and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer. Pour in roux and mix together thouroghly. Add cold stock (must be cold!) and use your whisk to combine. If it looks like it has seperated just keep stirring, it will come together. Add a couple dashes of worstershire, and the remaining seasonings and let bring to a boil then let simmer for 45 minutes-hour. Serve with steamed rice, file and hot sauce. And don't forget a nice crusty bread

5 comments:

MrsPresley said...

i love gumbo but i've never tried making it myself. yours looks delicious! :)

Jigginjessica said...

Yum!!

Elly said...

Ally, this looks seriously amazing. I cannot tell you how much I triple pink puffy heart gumbo. I have never tried making it, though. I feel like I lack the patience in making the roux. I will definitely have to give this a try, though. It looks too good to pass up.

Danno said...

That looks wonderful Ally, making me very hungry for some Gumbo. Gorgeous roux as well!

Ally said...

It's an honor to get such a compliment Danno!