Before I wet on vacation I made a Cajun Gumbo for the May Daring Cook's Challenge. Although we ate this Tuesday night, the official posting date is today.
The girls at The Daring Kitchen always give you lots of references and recipes for each challenge but they encourage us to make it our own creation.
I chose to make my gumbo like a red bean and rice stew.
A Cajun gumbo has chicken and a pork product like sausage or ham whereas a Creole is seafood, shrimp or crayfish.....I chose a Cajun style with chicken and a smoked turkey kielbasa sausage. The Cajun one has a darker roux and is spicier....yum!
Cooking with Diabetes is all about the Glycemic Index and the addition of red beans to this dish allows me to have a scoop of wonderful white rice to sop up all that wonderful stock. I also wanted to try a technique I saw on a healthy Emeril show where he bakes the flour so that there is no addition of oil, but still has the flavor.
Our May hostess, Denise of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need from creole spices, homemade stock and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.
I seasoned the chicken quarters with BAM on both sides and sauteed them in canola oil for 5 minutes on each side in a Dutch Oven.
After I browned the chicken, I removed the chicken and all the fat and replaced it with 1 tablespoon of new oil. I stirred in the roasted flour and sauteed the onions, celery, garlic and green pepper in it. After about 5 minutes on low, I opened a bottle of Bass Ale and poured it in, scraping down the bottom and sides. I placed the chicken back into the pot, added chicken stock to cover, the sliced kielbasa, bay leaves, and can of tomatoes (which I squeezed between my fingers into the pan). Brought the liquid back to a boil, reduced to simmer and set the time for 3 hours.
I do not think you need to brown the kielbasa before putting it into the gumbo. I did not want the flavor of the kielbasa to overpower the chicken and if you brown it it can take on a strong flavor.
Before serving I removed the meat from the chicken bones, placed the meat back into the pot and discarded the bones, they did their job flavoring the broth, and for that we thank them.
In the meantime I used my foolproof method of making microwave cooked rice (in a Corning Ware round casserole, standard 2:1 rice/water & salt, nuke on high 5 minutes, nuke on "5" or medium - 15 minutes. Let sit before uncovering.)
In a small bowl I packed the rice evenly and placed it in the center of my dish.
Now I can sit down and relax after a day of running all over the world and let my dinner cook itself. I just loved braised dishes, and a good gumbo is exactly that.
My Cajun Chicken, Sausage and Bean Gumbo
* 1 package(4)chicken leg quarters
* 1/2 package turkey kielbasa, sliced into 1'2" coins
* 1 cup chopped green pepper
* 1 cup chopped Vidalia onions
* 1 cup chopped hearts of celery
* 3 large garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 cup roasted AP flour (in a 350F oven for 5 minutes)
* 1(28oz)can plum tomatoes, crushed
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 bottle ale
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/4 cup BAM
* salt & pepper to taste
* extra BAM at the end
* 1 tablespoon file` powder, in a small bowl with a spoon
This was excellent. This recipe is a basic one. You can customize it any way you want. The key is to brown the chicken and develop the flavor of the roux, which I got by roasting the flour instead of constantly stirring the flour with oil. This was not labor intensive at all and no harder then a Chicken Cattiatore.