Thursday, March 1, 2012
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
I was fairly well prepared this year, having lots of homemade soups, and prepared dishes made ahead, so we won't be rushing to eat a meal, and have to resort to eating out. We gave up eating out for Lent, so that gives me extra incentive to have meals I can heat to eat ready.
We have noticed that when we do eat out, and eat junk food, we have no energy and feel yucky anyway. All that fast food is not good at giving energy and providing what our bodies need to thrive.
I had some time here at the house day before yesterday, and so I fixed a big pot of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It was so cold outside, and the hot thick Gumbo served over steamy white rice really tasted good after spending time in the lambing barn.
We had it again yesterday for lunch, and it got a mixed review from the daycare kids. Bridger got a woody piece of okra, and so he was not too keen on eating more of it. It happens occasionally, and I tried to convince him that the rest was tender and tasty. He got really motivated to finish when he saw the other kids getting raspberry sherbet and homemade cookies for dessert. Bridger told me that the soup was pretty good except for that straw piece that was in it.
I like to put both okra and file powder in my gumbo. Okra thickens it if you leave it simmer for a long time, but I like to add the okra close to the end of cooking to keep it more tender. Traditionally, gumbo was made with okra during it's growing season, and file powder when fresh okra wasn't available.
I can readily get frozen okra, and andouille sausage at my local grocery store, so this is a meal I can put together from my freezer and pantry without having to go to the store for ingredients.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
4-5 Andouille sausage sliced
4-5 skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
2 T olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
1 C diced celery and it's leaves
1 large green pepper diced
2 quarts/large cans diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen okra slices
1 quart/box chicken stock
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Frank's hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stockpot, sweat onions, celery, green pepper and adouille sausage and chicken in oil. When onions become opaque, add garlic, tomatoes, chicken stock, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer two hours covered. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add in frozen okra and bring to a boil. Add 1-2 tsp file powder and boil until thickened. Serve over hot white rice.
Gumbo is always better the second day, and it freezes beautifully.