Wednesday, September 7, 2011

[HOH Recipe Box]: Hurricane Gumbo

As some of you may know, we here in the Nutmeg State have just recovered from a bit of a hurricane.

[via The Day]

My typical reaction to impending inclement weather is to COOK.
Snow Storm? Beef Bourgignone.
Thunder and Lightning? Chili.
Ice Storm? Roast Chicken.

So, what to do when the hurricane's a'comin? Make Gumbo.

A few things to note about gumbo [and this particular recipe]:
  • Real gumbo has okra. I couldn't find any, so it's not represented here. Sorry.
  • Roux: The roux is the heart and soul of any gumbo - don't skimp on this step [step 2 below], be patient and wait for it to be a really rich chocolate color. My dad always said that the time it takes for you to cook the roux is the same as to drink two beers; I find this is a good rule of thumb [plan on stirring for at least 30 minutes!]
  • Sausage: Gumbo typically utilizes andouille. I'm an equal opportunity sausage lover, so whatever your preference is [or, whatever you can find in your local grocery stores] will work well in this dish
  • Added Bonus: Since I have no electricity [and haven't since Sunday morning] I feel I should note that this dish keeps well - even in a cooler! - and almost seems to get better the longer you wait to eat the second round!
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 lb. andouille/chorizo/kielbasa (whatever you like)
  • 3 green peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil + 2 tbsp.
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Tabasco
  • Salt, Pepper
To Do:
  1. Season your chicken thighs - salt, pepper, [garlic powder if you're so inclined], and brown them in 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in your dutch oven/stock pot over medium heat. When browned on both sides [but not fully cooked], remove and set aside.
  2. Wipe out the pot [seriously, don't use the chicken fat, as tempting as it might be], and add in the 1/3 cup vegetable oil over medium low heat. Add in the flour and begin to stir. And stir. And stir. And stir.
  3. While you stir your roux on a pretty continuous basis, you can chop your veggies: peppers, onions, and celery [otherwise known as the TRINITY] should be about 1/4 inch chop. Garlic can be as fine or large as you like.
  4. Once the roux is nice and dark, add in your chopped vegetables and stir. While these are cooking down, chop up your sausage of choice [bite-sized pieces are best], and pull apart the semi-cooked chicken thighs.
  5. Once the vegetables are soft, add the meat back in, a squirt [or seven] of hot sauce, and give a bit of a stir. Let things get cozy for a few minutes. Many gumbo recipes call for the addition of raw chicken, so don't fret about salmonella - the chicken will cook out completely in the stew.
  6. Add the can of tomatoes, stir.
  7. Add the chicken stock. Cover, simmer, and in an hour or two you can reap the rewards of this fine dish you've just made. Serve over white rice, with an extra side of hot sauce.

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