|One of my favorite wreaths, Mardi Gras time!|
Next up is this fabulous gumbo I made last night. It's brothy yet hearty and so delicious with just the right kick! Most gumbos call for seafood, although we're working on our dietary dislikes this year I wasn't quite ready to make a whole batch of soup with seafood swimming around in it (nice visual, huh?). So I adapted this recipe from Food & Wine and was super pleased with the result.
Chicken and Turkey Smoked Sausage Gumbo
(Makes 4 generous servings)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 10-ounce package frozen sliced okra
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 15-ounce can)
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 pound turkey smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, cooked
- 3/4 cup long-grain rice
- Prep your vegetables, spice mix and meats. (You don't necessarily have to do this but I find it just makes it easier).
- Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, until starting to brown, about 3ish minutes. It will start to smell a little nutty and you'll think your burning it but as long as you keep whisking you'll be fine, this brown roux is an important foundation for flavor!
- Reduce the heat to medium low then stir in onion, celery and bell pepper. Cook until starting to soften, 7ish minutes.
- Add the okra, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes (NO PEEKING, you want to keep the steam in the pot to heat the okra through).
- Stir in the broth and the turkey smoked sausage. Bring this to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low again and simmer for 15 minutes or so (perfect amount of time to jam out to some of Garth Brooks' Callin' Baton Rouge and have yourself a little kitchen dance party!).
- Meanwhile, in another pan, cook the chicken until just done then set aside.
- After your 15 mintues in the stock pot are up add the chicken and let simmer another 4 to 5 minutes longer then remove the bay leaf.
- In another pot (sorry more dishes to do!), cook rice according to package instructions.
- Serve with a mound of rice in the center of each bowl then ladle the gumbo around the rice.
This was just spicy enough but not too crazy, the sausage gives it a nice smokey flavor and the spice blend is just delightful. Oye my mouth is already watering just thinking about it, is it lunch time yet?!
So that's Fat Tuesday lunch then dinner is a FT standby I've made the past couple of years, Cajun Chicken Pasta. Recipe plus other great Mardi Gras faves here! Have a great Fat Tuesday, stay warm!