Tag Archives: cajun

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

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Isn’t that picture beautiful!? I got a Le Creuset griddle for Christmas last year but returned it for store credit and never ended up getting something else with it until recently. In its place, I got a Le Creuset 4.5-quart dutch oven in Lapis. So exciting! I feel like I made a huge life decision – I’m going to be stuck with this color forever.

The first thing I decided to make was this gumbo recipe, sent to me by my friend Isaac with a ton of tweaks (e.g. add garlic, use Tony’s). I’ve never made gumbo before – it was pretty labor intensive (30 minutes straight of stirring the roux!), but worth it at the end. It’s best to prep all of your veggies & meats the day before so that you aren’t spending like 5 hours making this in one day. I made this for my family the day before Thanksgiving and they really liked it; my sister made it at her football tailgate the next Saturday too. The recipe says 4 pounds of chicken thighs, but you could easily use 2-3 pounds – 4 pounds was a lot of meat.

Ingredients:
– 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup vegetable oil
– 1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise ½-inch thick pieces
– 4 pounds chicken thighs, skin removed
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 cups chopped onions
– 1 cup chopped celery
– 1 cup chopped bell peppers
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 3 bay leaves
– 9 cups unsalted chicken stock
– ½ cup chopped green onions
– 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
– paprika
– black pepper
– cayenne pepper
– Tony’s seasoning
– white rice

Directions:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
2. Season the chicken with paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and Tony’s.
3. Add the chicken in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool.
4. Combine the remaining ½ cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 25 to 30 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.
5. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Add the reserved sausage and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock, and cook, stirring, until well combined.
8. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
9. Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1½ hours.
10. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
11. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken thighs from the gumbo and shred the chicken meat.
12. Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions and parsley.
13. Spoon rice into the bottom of deep bowls and ladle the gumbo on top.

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New Orleans Trip!

Geaux Blue!

Sorry about the delay in updates, loyal followers!  I spent New Year’s in New Orleans, Louisiana, where my beloved Michigan Wolverines were playing in the Sugar Bowl for just the second time in history.  A few of my Michigan friends flew down to see the game, which we were undeservedly lucky enough to win.

The other highlight of the trip was eating all the delicious food New Orleans has to offer!  A few of my friends had alligator poboys (1) from Pierre Maspero’s, while I had the crawfish etouffee (2).  Alligator just tastes like rubbery chicken but the seasoning they had on this was so good, my friends said they should have just served it without the bread.  As you can see from the crawfish etouffee, Cajun food isn’t really the most photogenic.  It looks a lot like slop, which is why I don’t have a picture of chicken and andouille gumbo from the Gumbo Shop, which is pretty good for the price ($8.50 for a bowl).

Our last day, we tried to go to the Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, but they don’t take reservations.  When we got there, there was a line outside the door estimated to be about 45 minutes!  We weren’t going to stand in the cold, so next door is Bourbon House, which was able to seat us immediately.  The table shared some oysters, and then I had paneed veal and crab with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus (3).  Yum!  Others had grilled tuna, catfish, rib-eye, or chicken, and everyone was really happy with the meal.  I’d definitely recommend going there.

Finally, the best part of the food in New Orleans is Cafe du Monde!  Located right across from Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde is known for its beignets (basically funnel cakes) and cafe au lait (coffee with hot milk).  We quickly learned that going here when there is any daylight at all is a mistake, since there are huge lines for both eating in and takeout.  Out of the four days I was in NOLA, I ate beignets for three of them and had cafe au lait the other day.

beignets

I had a great time in New Orleans!  Good food, Michigan win, what could be better!?  (Answer: LSU national championship.  Geaux Tigers!)