Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dat's Cajun Gumbo Cookin'

My mom is truly Cajun, and my dad is truly French, so I grew up with great cooks, and delicious food.  I tend more to healthier fare now, but I will always have my childhood heritage favorites. 

Where I grew up, most people were Catholic and couldn't eat meat on Friday.  So our schools often served seafood gumbo on Fridays..really!  My mom always had plenty of shrimp in our freezer that she bought from the guys down the street who were professional or hobby shrimpers.  But for some reason, we mostly ate chicken and sausage gumbo.

It's been the worst winter in Texas that I can remember (be gone, Polar Vortex).  Cold weather to a Cajun equals gumbo.  So, today my husband (Cajun by virtue of being married to me forever), is making gumbo for the family.  My sons and families will be daughter would, but is a little far away for lunch.

So, here's the family recipe....minus details because a Cajun girl really just needs an iron skillet, Le Creuset pot and some natural Cajun soul to get the cooking job done (in other words, we don't measure ingredients).

Chicken, chicken parts (whatever you like)
Sausage, several links (we like Opa's Beef, but I'm not sure where that's available)
Roux (I really can make it, but have turned to roux in a jar)

Chopped veges...onion, bell pepper, celery, green onions (add these at the end), garlic (and many use turnips).
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, file

Brown chicken, cook sausage in boiling water..then discard the water.
Make stock by boiling the chicken and some veges together...then discard the veges before adding the ones you chopped for the gumbo.  Take the meat off the bones and set aside.
This part is controversial among my Cajun sisters...some cook the chopped veges in the roux..easy to burn, some add them to the stock.

At any rate you end up with the chicken, sausage, roux and veges in the stock.
Season with salt and pepper, red pepper, and file.
The Seasonings

You need to cook it for awhile, but don't let your chicken get stringy.  Adjust the roux to the thickness you like.

You'll need some large bowls to put a couple of delicious scoops over rice.  What do you serve with gumbo?  Garlic bread and potato salad are traditional...many a true Cajun will put a dollop of potato salad in their gumbo.

Gumbo Bowls
And always remember that it's much better the next day!
Finished Product!

May cher, dis house smells good, yeah!

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