I just got back from staying a week with a wonderful family south of New Orleans! The mom was raised there and taught me how to cook a couple of wonderful cajan
recipies. When we first got there, we discussed how close we were to the swamp people and wondered if we would get to see some of them. By the end of the week, I relized we didn't have to go anywhere to meet them we were living with them!! What a wonderful
time we had with the family of seven children! This lady knew what she was doing in the kitchen. Bless her heart, she was there a lot. If there was a masters degree in home cooking and hard work, she is the leader of the class! No,she is not the leader
of the class, she is the instructor of the class! I learned more from watching her in the kitchen than from reading any recipie. So here is one of her recipies:
SIMPLE CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
This is perhaps the simplest of the gumbos, but a hearty one and a classic combination. If you cannot find andouille, use a local smoked sausage, kielbasa, or whatever
smoked sausage you like. This one is easy to knock off quickly for a great evening's meal.
1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts water
1 can rotel tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chicken base
4 teaspoons Tony Cachere's Creole seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large chicken (young hen preferred), cut into pieces
2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 – 3 tsp. Filé powder
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly. Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the
roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux. If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut butter color, over lower heat if you are nervous about
Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4
Add the water, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, and then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.
Remove chicken pieces from pot and allow to cool. After cooled, remove meat from bones and return to pot.
Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls.
YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.
This is not all you must make her potato salad that goes with this meal It is wonderful! That recipe will come on a later date. Stay tuned!