Friday, May 13, 2011

Cooking Recipe Time

Sometimes there's nothing to be said except to put up a good recipe. Here's one of my best:

Kate's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

(All quantities are approximate. I really don't know how I make my famous gumbo, but it is renowned all over Lambertville, and has even been praised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where they know good gumbo from bad.)

Cooking oil (olive oil is good, but whatever you like to cook with will do)
3 pounds chicken thighs, skin removed, dredged in flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 big red bell pepper, chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 or 2 links of smoked andouille, if available, chorizo, or other spicy smoked sausage, sliced about 1/4 inch or so thick
1 large bag of sliced frozen okra
pinch of pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
handful of chopped fresh parsley
salt to taste
chicken broth enough to cover, maybe a quart or so
cooked white rice

Brown the chicken thighs on all sides in 3 tablespoons of oil in your gumbo pot--a good-sized casserole, dutch oven, or whatever deep, heavy-bottomed pot you have--and set aside.

Cook and stir the onion, celery, and bell pepper in the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage slices in a frying pan until they are a bit brown and some of the fat is tried out.

Now throw the chicken and sausage in with the vegetables, add the pepper flakes, bay leaf, and parsley, dump in the okra, pour the chicken broth, stir it all up, and bring the whole thing to a simmer.

While this is happening, Make the roux:

Stir 3 tablespoons of flour into 3 tablespoons of oil in a flat, heavy-bottomed pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is brown and pasty. Be careful not to burn yourself. It gets very hot.

Let the roux cool a bit, then whisk some of your gumbo broth into it. Stir that into the gumbo.

Simmer the gumbo, stirring occasionally and adding more broth or water if needed, until the chicken meat falls off the bones, maybe an hour or so. Shred the chicken meat and take the bones out. Add salt if needed. Serve over hot cooked white rice. (Rice takes 20 minutes, so be sure to get it on cooking 20 minutes before the gumbo is cooked.)

People like this. Try it.

Kate Gallison

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