Monday, September 5, 2011

First sign

I woke up this morning and the breeze was blowing. It's been hotter than I don't want to tell you what comes to mind, but it's been smoldering.  So when I went outside and I wasn't sweating, err I mean glowing, between my boobs--I knew fall was on the horizon!  I know I live in the deep south and I know it's supposed to be hot down here.  It doesn't mean I have to keep my heat fussing to a minimum!

So with the cool weather on the horizon and leftover shredded chicken in my fridge, I knew chicken sausage and okra gumbo were on the horizon!  I even took pics of almost all of the steps to show you how it looks because I know cooking cajun food can be interesting to say the least!

So we start out with some oil in a large pot.

 Chop one large onion into small pieces.  I don't like huge onions so I cut them fine. Put them in the pot on medium to high heat.  I put mine on 6-7 on a scale of 10.  I also added a chunk (read this as half) of a bell pepper.  When I get bell peppers on sale, I dice them up and freeze them. I take out what I need and presto.  I had red and yellow in the freezer, but you can use green if that's what you have.

 See how frozen it is?
 Well I put the lid on the pot for 3-4 minutes and when I remove it, it's all defrosted so I break it up!
 Then I add two stalks of celery after peeling it and get most of the strings out.  Onions, bell pepper and celery are considered the  trinity in cajun cooking ;) I also add some pressed garlic as well to my onion mixture!
 So you want to cook it down for a while, and at this point if you are cooking with gas, turn it to medium low. I also throw in some tony's I'm always talking about!

 So you want the trinity mixture to resemble about this, if not a little more cooked down.
 Then you want to add some fresh or frozen okra.  Frozen was cheaper so that's what I used.  However, I picked the tops out of it.  The top of the stalk, I threw those away.  You don't have to put okra in it but I like to sneak it in there.  If you don't use okra, skip the next few steps!

 Ok it's in the pot!  You will have to cook it down a ton to get rid of the slime.
 This is the beginning stages of cooking it down.  I like for mine to cook down to hardly anything but partial skins and seeds.  This isn't what it looks like that but I'm showing you the cooking stages I shot.

 I want mine cooked down more so I turn it to medium and cook it down some.
 I notice mine is starting to burn so I add in about an inch of water to the pot and throw in two chicken bouillon cubes.

 It's cooking down nicely and you see in the below picture it's starting to really break down.
 So I don't know how to make a roux so since I conquered frying chicken yesterday, I figured my super powers would carry over to making a roux. so here is the oil heating up.
 I added flour and started browning it down.  So far so good, right?
 Meanwhile, I throw in my sausage and shredded chicken to the other pot as well as about 6-8 cups of water and another 2 bouillon cubes.  You can eye ball it on the amount of chicken.  I used the meat from one whole chicken I cooked in the crock pot. You could definitely use a rotisserie chicken here and use that meat. I also use about 2 lbs and a half of sausage but this  makes a HUGE pot!
 Look at this goodness going on in the gumbo pot!

What's going on with my roux you ask?  Well I cooked it down until it started cooking down and getting darker.  I always have trouble when I add the roux to the gumbo pot that it coagulates and is clumpy and just not right.  So I tried to add some of the broth from the gumbo pot into the roux to see what happens.  This is what happens--it curdled and sucks and is awful!

 Thank HEAVEN for roux in a can/jar/shaker! I put in about a tablespoon in at a time and stir so it doesn't clump.
 This is what I call magic in a bag tho right here below.  I add this entire bag in my gumbo (before I add the chicken and sausage in) just a little at a time and stir well. I keep doing this until the entire bag is in. You have to do this slowly or you will have clumps!
From there, I let it cook down for a good hour and a half.  I also add file powder but that's a local thing here to use.  Serve over rice and you can't forget about the potato salad!!!


  1. I have been wanting to try and make gumbo (and freeze it in portions of course) but I am terrified of making a roux. I tried once for a lasagna mix and it was just bad. Someone told me the trick is to constantly stir and not doing anything else but tend to the roux, but I haven't tried it again since.

  2. My family would LOVE this! I wish I could find it in my heart to like gumbo. :/

  3. Funny, I would have thought you'd be gung ho about making your own roux. Nice to see you take a few time-saving shortcuts! Looks and sounds delicious. And ironically, our hottest weather of the year has taken grip of us now. Fall? What's that? We're looking at 95+ for the next 4 days!