After a SUPERbusy whirlwind of exciting events and preparations (aka, my sister-in-law’s wedding!), complete w/a week of non-normal eating, I’ve decided to celebrate all this good behavior of sticking-to-a-diet (and fitting into the fancy bridesmaid dress) by making a yummy and delicious chicken & andouille gumbo- my favorite!  I’ve saved it as a sort of celebratory meal bc…anything that starts off w/”equal portions of butter and flour” should automatically be avoided when dieting! 😉

So, on w/the recipe!

This is something I love making, but haven’t blogged about it for awhile- the last time was in February, when I made gumbo for Mardi Gras.  Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s a link to the last gumbo post, which is good bc it also included a recipe link for King Cake…yum…*drool*.

Anyway, this time around, I was working in a pretty quiet house- everyone was sleeping off the busy weekend, and pretty much left me alone to my own devices for about 3 hours!  (Cue the chorus and sunshine bursting through clouds!)  So, I demolished the kitchen in the name of yummy food!

Here’s the recipe I used from a woman named Malriah on recipezaar.com- but, as she says, you don’t really follow a “recipe” for gumbo, it’s more like steps.  Everyone’s gumbo will taste different, and that’s part of the fun!

You start off by melting butter in a pot:

Once the butter is melted, you slowly add in the flour- it’s equal parts flour and butter.  So, I used one and a half sticks of butter- which is about 3/4 cups, so I used that much flour.  (Seriously, this is NOT diet-food!)

Next, the “fun” part- the CONSTANT stirring!  I don’t know who came up w/this, but if you stir the butter/flour mix constantly for the next 25 minutes (and, I can’t emphasize enough the fact that it must be CONSTANT to avoid burning the mix), it’ll turn a dark chocolate brown, and be ready for a gumbo base, the roux.  Weird.  And, fun fact: if you tell someone from the South that you’re making gumbo, you might get asked what number of beers your roux is.  For example, are you making a two-beer roux?  A three-beer?  That just means the amount of time you’ll be stirring- will it take you the amount of time to drink two beers?  This one, I think, would be about a two-beer roux…25-30 minutes??  Weird, but totally true!  When I made this recipe w/my mom, one of her friends had asked us what type we were making!  (If you’re interested in a more detailed, recipe-style for roux, click here!)

So, here’s a “before” picture- it’s just the color you’d expect from melted butter/flour:

The start of somethin' good!

And, the “after”…

It’s important to keep the temperature kinda low- I had my burner between 2-3, closer to the 3, but not above it.

Next up, adding the chopped veggies.  You add a chopped onion, green pepper, and about 2 stalks of celery.  Also, at this point, I added two chopped garlic cloves- just chopped in half or quarters, nothing too fancy.  I had also turned the roux off, so as not to burn it- what a waste that would have been, to burn it at that point?!

I also added in as much chicken broth as I wanted- the roux is really thick, especially w/the veggies added, so just add as much broth as makes it…well, more like stew- not like soup.

Then, the chicken:  I had been roasting a whole chicken ahead of time (3-4 lbs, so roughly about an hour and a half), and carved it up, mainly just using the breast meat, and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Toss ’em in!

Now, the sausage.  This is my favorite gumbo- chicken and andouille (anne-doo-ee) gumbo.  I’m pretty sure that you could just skip the sausage if you couldn’t find it, but I don’t think you could substitute the sausage for another kind.  It has a pretty distinct flavor.  Anyway, I found mine before at the Italian Market or Whole Foods- the WF ones were fresh, so I fried ’em before using them.  Then, just cut the sausage into bits, and added them, too.

Andouille Goodness!

Now, the final step:  adding the seasoning.  When I added the veggies, I also added salt and pepper.  Add whatever amount you like.  But, after all the meat was in, I added in the creole seasoning.  I used Tony Chachere’s, and it’s available pretty much everywhere- saw it in Target today, actually.  I added LOADS of it!

Then, I made rice.  Unfortunately, all I had was brown rice, and while that’s a good rice to have, it kinda messes w/the taste of the gumbo bc brown rice has it’s own flavor.  White rice is definitely better for this recipe.

When everyone woke up, we were ready to eat!  Ok, E and I were ready to eat- the kids just ate the rice!

*Sniff* I've been waiting all week for you!

Serve the gumbo over the rice, and w/some bread- I just bought a baguette and ripped off pieces.  SOOOO good!!  Definitely worth the wait!  (And, weight!) 😉

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After cooking the gumbo for most of the day, I started in on another chicken soup!  I had the remaining bits of chicken, along w/the carcass, after this recipe, and just tossed it into a pot to boil down.  It was a very fun day, and now there’s lots of great food filling the fridge! 🙂

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