Friday, August 7, 2015

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

It's been crazy hot here so you're probably thinking I'm crazy for blogging about gumbo, much less cooking it.  Well, it was my baby boy's first day of school and I wanted to make his favorite food on the planet to celebrate.  By the way, my baby boy is almost 16.  It was his first day of his junior year of high school.  Doesn't matter how old they get, they're still your babies, aren't they?

Anyway, his absolute favorite food is Gumbo.  So, even though it was 100 degrees outside, I cranked the AC up and made gumbo.  Here's a step by step guide so you can make it, too (you may want to wait till it cools off a bit).


2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1/2 lb andouille sausage (if you can't find it, you can use any smoked sausage)
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning (or your fav Cajun Seasoning)
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth

First, you make a roux.  That's the most difficult (well, not really difficult, just time-consuming) part of a gumbo.  A roux is just a mixture of fat and flour.  It can be light (as in a white sauce) or it can be dark, which is what you need for a gumbo.  In a big pot, whisk together oil and flour until no lumps are visible.  Then, cook over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY.  Seriously, do not stop stirring, even for a minute, or you will burn your roux!  And a burnt roux is good for nothing.  You might as well throw it away and start over.  So, don't stop stirring.  I find that a wooden spoon works best.

It will start out very light, like this:

Then, after a while it will turn dark, like this:

This will take some time.  I can't tell you exactly how long because it depends on the pot you use and how hot your burner is.  But it should take around 20-30 minutes.  Like I said, this is time-consuming, but so worth it.  This is where the distinctive gumbo flavor comes from.  Just enjoy a glass of wine while you're stirring and it won't be so bad!

Once your roux is ready, add your chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, green onions and garlic.  Be careful because it will spatter.

Stir and let cook for just a few minutes.

Season the cubed chicken with Tony's (Cajun seasoning), then add to the pot.

Stir and let cook for a few minutes more.

Next, add the andouille (which is just a spicy smoked sausage).

Stir and let cook another couple of minutes.

Finally, add the chicken broth and water and season to your own taste with salt, pepper and Tony's.

Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until reduced and thickened, stirring it every once and a while.

Serve over rice.

This is my son's favorite food for a reason.  It is thick, rich and very flavorful!  It's got just the right amount of spice.  Delicious!  It's obviously not something you would make when you're short on time, but it is well worth the effort when you do.  Ca cest bon!

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