Hello all, sorry for the late post. The last two or three weeks have been a challenge in itself. I made this dish on May 14th but only now, have I been able to post. Thank you so much Denise for this wonderful challenge. I absolutely adored this recipe and I can’t wait to make it again.
Ok, I was so excited about this challenge! Gumbo is one of those dishes that I have always wanted to make but never did. Don’t ask me why not, there were always so many other dishes I ended up making. (Plus, I wasn’t too sure about eating okra) I always planned for it though. I even purchased Filé powder, at a Farmer’s Market in Pennsylvania, just to have it in stock, when I decide to make it. Filé powder is an ingredient in Creole gumbo. From the notes for the challenge: The Choctaw Indians traveled in from the communities on Lake Pontchartrain, in the mid-1800s, they brought this to the New Orleans French Market. It is made by drying and then finely pounding the leaves of the sassafras tree into a powder and then passing it through a sieve. It is supposed to add an unique and spicy note to the gumbo and is used to thicken the stew, when okra is not available. Needless to say, when I saw the challenge for this month, I knew that I was right to purchase this spice. So, I purchased the ingredients to start.
I decided to make “Drew’s Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo,” the recipe from the challenge papers. I love boiled chicken and the thought of making shrimp stock from the shrimp I find locally, made me shudder. When I finally had a chance to make this dish, I was still recovering from severe allergies and so I decided to make this a little easier. I just didn’t have the energy to make stock and render chicken fat. I used canola oil for the fat and I used my favorite low-sodium chicken stock. I also did not find andouille sausage and so I used a 3 links of sweet Italian Sausage and 2 links of Spicy Italian sausage instead. Before continuing on I just have to say, this recipe is awesome!!! I even liked the okra, which was something I was uncertain about.
So, on to the adventure. I must say, I am glad I had a good kitchen fan, when making the roux. I was nervous letting the flour and oil brown that far and it did make a bit of smoke. The onions sauted nicely and I loved how the chicken looked, when it was added to the pot to brown. I think that next time, I will add more vegetables and reduce the amount of celery salt, from the Creole spices. I am not a big salt eater and the flavor was a bit too strong for me. I also think that I will omit the spicy sausage all together and add some red pepper flakes instead. If I could find smoked paprika, I would used that instead of sweet, as it will add the smokey flavor. I would also next time double up on the okra (surprise!!) as I really liked it, in this dish.
The Louisiana white rice recipe is an absolute gem! Wow, so much flavor and I love the added bay leaf and sauteed onions. I am definitely going to use this recipe for other meals. The whole recipe took me about 2 1/2 hours to make, most of it was just letting the pot boil. It was a lot of fun and my husband and I have another wonder dish to add to our menus. Even though I halved the recipe, it still made a lot of food, great for the freezer.
Blog-Checking Lines: 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.
Recipe For Challenge can be found here:
Or at the
Without further ado, on with the pictures!!!