Sunday, February 8, 2009

Aunt Holly's Gumbo

I love Aunt Holly. She's the husband's aunt, and I've only met her once, but I love her. She's awesome, and she makes some darn good gumbo. The husband and I went to New Orleans for our first anniversary and had dinner at Uncle Charles and Aunt Holly's house one night while we were there, and Holly made her gumbo for us. I was fortunate enough that she emailed me the recipe when we got home. It's not something I make very often because, well, it's just not gumbo weather in Phoenix very often. Who wants to stand over the stove making a roux when it's 110 degrees outside?! But, I bought some andouille sausage recently, and yesterday was cloudy and rainy, so I figured it was perfect. Actually I had already planned it for dinner last night, it was just a nice coincidence that it was cloudy and rainy. The recipe is exactly as Holly sent it to me, so you'll have to read through it for the ingredients and directions. But, to help in the process, I took pictures as I was going!! That's why I'm posting the day after, I didn't get the pictures uploaded last night. I'll paste in the recipe and pictures and their descriptions will be below.

Aunt Holly's Gumbo
First you make a roux. I don't use olive oil I use about 3 or 4 large cooking spoons of flour and about 1 large spoon of vegetable oil. Med. heat. The roux should be the consistency of a loose paste. Stir then let it sit a few seconds then stir. Keep repeating till the roux is a med dark brown. not as dark as chocolate. Then add 1 chopped onion, about 3 or 4 green onions chopped, 1/2 bell pepper, chopped, 1 or 2 sticks celery (optional) chopped, Parsley chopped. Keep stirring and cook about 10 min till onions start to cook then add about 4 cups of water this may not be enough. but let it come to a boil and let all your roux melt this takes about 20 min. You can always add more water. It may take about 6 or more cups. I don't know I never measure. I just know what constancy it should be. Remember Gumbo is watery not like stew. As soon as it comes to boil turn fire low or it will boil over. In separate pan on high heat brown chicken. I use either breast and thighs (boneless) or sometimes like my Grandma did I cut a whole chicken. Just brown the chicken don't cook it. Then put it in with Gumbo, add smoked sausage (Bryan) I also pre cook that in separate pot to get out oil. I also add andouille sausage. I also add 1 smoked turkey wing which is also hard to find. But the smokey flavor of the turkey wing just adds flavor it's not a necessity. Everything is in one pot now and boil on low fire till chicken is well cooked. Then you can add file' if you can buy that also. I think you can it's with the spices and called Gumbo file' Add about 2 tbs. of that sprinkle on top stir than cook about 5 more min. I add a little garlic powder. Oh don't forget plenty of salt thats your flavor and pepper and cayenne pepper to, it's Cajun remember. Serve over rice.

I broke out both of my Le Creuset pots for this endeavor:

Here are my vegetables, all chopped up and ready to go:

Here's my sausage browning away. I used Trader Joe's chicken andouille sausage and half a thing of Hillshire Farm smoked sausage. I like to put it cut side down to get some of the fat/oil out and to brown that side of it.

Check out all this sausage remnant yummy-ness. I cooked my chicken in it because I just live on the edge like that.

Here's my sausage and chicken ready to go for a swim in the gumbo.

Here's the start of my roux. I hate making a roux, but I think I did better this time than I ever have before.

Here's my roux part way through cooking. I was worried it was burning because I got busy taking pictures and dealing with an unruly toddler while the husband was napping on the couch. But it was didn't burn. See how it's starting to get darker?

Here's my roux when it was done. I thought this was a nice medium brown color.

This was my meat cooking pan after I had browned the sausage and chicken. I couldn't let all those glorious browned bits go to waste, so I deglazed the pan with a bit of chicken stock then poured it into the gumbo pot. Had I been thinking, I would have done everything in the same pot so my roux would have cooked in this yummy goodness.

Here's the vegetables mixed with the roux, before the water is added in to the mix.

Now, the gumbo simmering away. YUM! You can kind of see some chicken and sausage poking out.

And, the final product. This was actually my second helping because I was too excited to eat to stop and take a picture of my first bowl.

Yum. This was such a good dinner. The boy just ate the meat out of it and some rice, he doesn't really dig on soup. The andouille gave this great flavor and spice. There's some left in the fridge that I think I'll have for lunch. I can't wait!!

No comments: