Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Gumbo

Gumbo is an original creation and is a staple in South Louisiana cooking. The word "gumbo" comes from the Congo "quin-gombo" which means okra which is a thickening agent. While classified as a soup it really is more like a stew in taste and texture. Additionally, gumbo is served over rice, whereas, soup is not.

There are many different types of gumbo from chicken to wild game to seafood and the recipes vary somewhat. The gumbo we make most often in our house, simply for ease, economics and availability, is Chicken Gumbo. I have to admit, my favorite is Seafood gumbo but it gets really expensive to make if you don't live in South Louisiana! Here is a basic Chicken Gumbo recipe that you can start with and add other types of meat such as sausage, venison, duck or seafood. Have fun experimenting!

3 tbl Oil
3 tbl Flour
1 pkg Boneless Chicken breasts
1 pkg boneless chicken thighs
1 med onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz pkg frozen sliced okra
Tony’s, salt and pepper
Parboiled rice

In large pot, brown chicken in oil. Remove from pot when thoroughly browned on both sides. Add oil and flour and make a dark brown roux. Add onion and stir well; then add okra and blend well. Add all other vegetables except tomato and allow to cook down, cover if necessary to retain moisture. Cut up chicken into large bite size pieces. Add about 4 cups of water, tomato, and seasonings; blend well. Add chicken and stir. Cook down for about an hour adding more water if necessary. Recheck seasonings. Serve over rice.

***Note: If you will be making Giblet Gravy for the holidays, now would be the time to cook it as you need pan drippings and a little meat, not to mention that it can be frozen ahead of time. Add some extra chicken when making your gumbo then set aside some of it and all of the pan drippings from when you brown the chicken as stated above, then make your gravy while your gumbo cooks! This way, you can make the gravy ahead of time without having to do any extra work to obtain the two aforementioned ingredients.


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