Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo

It has been over a month since my last post. Do I have a good excuse? No, not really, though taking some “me” time has been nice and I am feeling reinvigorated and really to get back into my blogging mode. Sure, I have been a little sick, but no I have not been slacking off in the kitchen or relying on canned and processed foods.

One meal that I couldn’t wait to make was gumbo for Fat Tuesday. I have had this Cajun dish at a sweet little restaurant in Florida, but I have never made it myself. Gumbo is a traditional dish from Louisiana. The ingredients vary but typically consist of a strong flavored broth, several types of meats or seafood, a thickener (file powder, okra, or roux), and vegetables.

Let’s face it; this New England girl has no idea where to start with a good gumbo. While looking at several recipes I realized how important the roux was, how my patience would pay off. I tried not to skimp too much on the oil because that’s what gives the dish its lovely color and flavor, but I did make some subtle adjustments to make it a little healthier. This dish was full of flavor and came out terrific. It was spicy, but not too spicy, perfect for a cold winter night.

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
Serves 8
Cook Time: 2 hours

½ pound smoked sausage links, thinly sliced
½ pound skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sweet onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
green bell pepper, diced
1.5 cups fresh okra, sliced thin
14 oz canned diced tomatoes, no added salt
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
½ pound raw frozen shrimp, deveined and peeled
2 cups dry brown rice
1. In a large Dutch oven cook sausage over medium heat about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Cook chicken for 4 minutes per side over medium heat, set aside.
3.Place oil in Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly, 20-25 minutes or until the roux turns the color of chocolate.
4. Add onions, celery, carrots, cooked sausage and garlic and spices and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the bell pepper, canned tomatoes, okra, chicken broth, and water and cook over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Start cooking brown rice as directed.
6.Cover and simmer for additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add shrimp and cooked chicken cook for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot over rice.

Nutrition Facts: 1.5 cups gumbo over ½ cup brown rice
430 calories, 18 g fat (4 g saturated), 48 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 20 g protein, 650 mg sodium

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