Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

I have wanted to make Gumbo for years and I have to admit this is the first time I have followed through. After passing fresh okra at the farmers market, I knew it was my time. I will never pretend to be a pro at Louisiana or Cajun cooking, but I can tell you that this recipe is fabulous, and fairly easy to make!

A traditional gumbo consists of a strong flavored stock, a thickener, meat or seafood, and vegetables. Must-have veggies include onion, celery, and peppers (known as the holy trinity in Cajun cooking). The thickener may be file powder, okra, a roux (butter and flour mixture) or a combination of any of the three. Creole gumbo typically has tomatoes in it while Cajun gumbo goes sans tomatoes.

After looking up recipes, I was astonished to see the amount of oil and flour that was in the recipes. I just couldn't stand to put 1 cup of oil in a stew, so I cut back some on the ingredients and the flavor was good as I have ever had.

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Makes 8 servings
Time: 2 hours

1 link andoille sausage, sliced
4 chicken thighs, skins removed, cubed into 1" pieces
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup flour
3 cups sliced okra
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups water
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium chicken Better than Bouillon, or 2 low sodium bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
1/2 pound shrimp
1 cup white, brown, or wild rice

Creole Seasoning: 

2 1/2 Tbsp paprika, 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, 1 Tbsp dried thyme

*more or less according to preference
1. Mix the Creole seasoning, season the chicken.  
2. Spray frying pan with cooking spray, brown the chicken. Remove from heat, add sausage and brown. 
3. Add oil and cook over medium heat, add flour and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. It should become a dark color.
4. Add the chopped vegetables and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Add water, bouillon, cayenne pepper, chicken, and sausage. Simmer for 1 hour. 
5. Cook rice as directed.
5. Add shrimp to gumbo and cook for 5 minutes. 

Serve 1/2 cup of rice, top with 1 cup of gumbo. Enjoy with a garden salad.
Nutrition Facts: 375 calories, 29 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat, 4 g fiber, 310 mg sodium.

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