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OLS
03-17-2010, 11:15 AM
I thought I had posted this before. Oh well, better to get this from an actual Cajun than
to get it from some regular person on the street.

OK, this is not so much a measured recipe as a throw together. As I go along I will add approx measurements. But I will list ingredients centrally now that I think about it.
It would be wrong to go through the effort without it.

1 whole chicken, cut up (deboned too for those that don't like to find bones)
(substitute 3-4 chicken breasts or equivalent in boneless
fresh chicken meat)
1/3 cup of flour
1/4 cup of oil (OR rendered out skin of chicken if you have all day)
1 pack of GOOD smoked sausage or andouille sausage. (no keilbasa please)
2 Med onions chopped fine.
2 cups okra
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or use hot sausage above)
gallon or so of water on hand
3/5 toes minced garlic (you can use a tablespoon of preminced garlic in oil)

First make a roux. Duh. Take your oil and heat it in your cooking pot.
Always use a dutch oven or other heavy pot. Nonstick fagware is not really useful here.
Pardon my no PCness, lol, this is for your own good. This mixture will get REALLY hot
and that's not good for coatings. Think carcinogenic.

There are two ways to do this. My mother's way or my way. My mother takes an hour
to make a roux cause she is fearful of burning it. YOU WILL HAVE TO THROW AWAY A
BURNT ROUX. Clean and start over. There is no sense in putting good ingredients into
bad roux. Simply lowering the heat will not save you. Only chopped onion added at
the point of no return can successfully finish a roux made FAST.

What you are doing here is browning a little flour in a little oil. You can stir constantly
over a low-med heat for an hour, or over high heat for 5 minutes. You
get the same roux. BUT YOU BETTER CHOP YOUR ONIONS FIRST for a
FAST ROUX. They will immediately stop the cooking of the roux and save your ass.
If your onions are at hand, there is no reason to wait an hour for a freaking roux.

Anyway, heat about a third cup of flour in a 1/4 cup of oil (or chicken fat rendered
to oil), stir it into a paste with a flat spatula or wooden spoon. Stir constantly
until it is the color of a dark caramel. Immediately stop the cooking by adding
onion and garlic. Some people add celery, I do not. For that matter I do not add
bell pepper. You can do either. It is fine. But cook whatever you add down to
wilted veggies over medium heat. Once you are wilted down, add about half your
salt and pepper and maybe some rubbed sage. Add your chicken pieces and fill
most of pot with water and set to boil. You want to cook down the mixture and
lose about half the water.

While you are doing this add your OKRA to a pan and a spray of PAM or oil and
start to cook this down a bit. It will get so disgustingly stringy you will never
want to eat Okra. This is normal. From time to time put a splash of water into
the pan to de-glaze the bottom and even steam the okra a little. When the
stringy mess starts to be a lot less stringy and more soft and gooey, add this
okra to the pot and again cover with water and cook down to about half a pot
of gumbo.

Cut sausage into bite-size pieces, I like to go diagonally which makes nice ovoid
pieces that look bigger. Add to pot for the last 15 mins of cooking.
Once your gumbo is one notch less thick than stew, I reckon you are ready to go.
Use remaining salt and pepper to taste.

You can eat it right then or preferably wait til the next day. You cigar people
understand the concept of marrying flavors. There you go. If you
took your time and followed the method, you will be in for a treat. I always make
a pot of rice, but rarely eat my gumbo over rice. It is a good extender to feed a
family, and IS THE TRADITION, but your late night 'quick bowl-a-gumbo' will likely
not have rice added.

Please note, okra is not an ingredient for an authentic cajun chicken and sausage
gumbo. It is used in seafood gumbo. But the first time I cooked mine with okra,
I never went back to the old way.:xxx

Darrell
03-17-2010, 11:19 AM
I am going to make this recipe real soon.

Pardon my ignorance though, Brad -- is it necessary to use a whole chicken? or could I use some chicken breasts? I don't want to mess with perfection, but 9/10 the grocery store only has whole game hens.

OLS
03-17-2010, 11:24 AM
I am going to make this recipe real soon.

Pardon my ignorance though, Brad -- is it necessary to use a whole chicken? or could I use some chicken breasts? I don't want to mess with perfection, but 9/10 the grocery store only has whole game hens.
Of course you can and SHOULD use parts to your liking since not everyone wants to cut up a chicken. I find I like the mix of light and dark meat I get with the whole chicken route, but I pride myself in being a master dislocator of chickens. It goes back to my first job at 14. But hell yeah, use whatever
you want, amounts only matter in how much gumbo you get in the end.

I also reccommend doing it now while there is still some snap in the air. It is really
good in the cool weather.

nater
03-17-2010, 11:28 AM
Brad, growing up my dad always made slow roux, until I introduced him to my oven roux I learned how to make in college. Flour and oil in a pan in the oven, 350 degrees, stir every 20ish minutes, cook until you get the color you are looking for. I love it as I can start the roux as I cut up everything else.... Otherwise, good recipe! Most Cajun chefs consider the holy trinity mandatory (bell pepper, celery, and onion) for people wanting to try it.

OLS
03-17-2010, 11:34 AM
Heard about that, never knew the details. For me it is a matter of pride between me and my mama.
I LOVED waking up slow on a Saturday morning with the smell of roux wafting down the hall.
When you cook it for an hour, you get quite a lingering aroma. And for the record, roux cooking
smells better than 80% of the food you will ever throw INTO the roux. It is the perfect aroma.

But with my roux, ain't nobody getting the slow wake-up treatment. I get it done and fast.
I love that my mama refuses to go fast with it, I will miss her terribly when she is gone.
She also still writes letters. (emails, too, but I'm just sayin) She is old school. haha.

OLS
03-17-2010, 11:36 AM
Most Cajun chefs consider the holy trinity mandatory (bell pepper, celery, and onion) for people wanting to try it.I think you are right on that count. People would scoff at that ingredients list, but I think I leave
them out because I never have them on hand. The way I cook I always seem to have a
bag of onions in the fridge. But with Bell pepper and celery, it's like a special trip for ingredients, which is why I rarely cook by recipes. But that's also why I say add em
if you got em, expecially if you have a garden with these items in it.
They BELONG in there, I just think the taste is sufficient without them.

T.G
03-17-2010, 12:00 PM
D, this is pretty similar to what/how I've been making (it) for years (although I also use tomatoes, but I am from California...), and I've done it with breasts, with thighs/leg quarters and with whole chickens. All breasts work fine, but I feel they tend to lack a bit in the flavor department. All thigh/leg quarters ends up being a bit too greasy for my tastes, I prefer the mixture of the light and dark meats, since I'm not cooking huge quantities, one chicken breast and two thighs or one leg section is what I usually use.

I do know that some markets in the bay area don't regularly carry whole chickens, but I can't believe that you can't find a package of Foster Farms whole cut-up chicken though. Just ask the butcher at the market, they probably have one or the other in the back deep freezer. There is always costco too, they carry whole chickens in a two-pack.

Darrell
03-17-2010, 12:02 PM
D, this is pretty similar to what/how I've been making (it) for years (although I also use tomatoes, but I am from California...), and I've done it with breasts, with thighs/leg quarters and with whole chickens. All breasts work fine, but I feel they tend to lack a bit in the flavor department. All thigh/leg quarters ends up being a bit too greasy for my tastes, I prefer the mixture of the light and dark meats, since I'm not cooking huge quantities, one chicken breast and two thighs or one leg section is what I usually use.

I do know that some markets in the bay area don't regularly carry whole chickens, but I can't believe that you can't find a package of Foster Farms whole cut-up chicken though. Just ask the butcher at the market, they probably have one or the other in the back deep freezer. There is always costco too, they carry whole chickens in a two-pack.

Thanks for the info, Adam. I'll be sure to check Costco and maybe one of the specialty markets.

T.G
03-17-2010, 12:24 PM
Speciality markets?

I was talking about Safeway, bro. :r

Volt
03-17-2010, 12:41 PM
A few other thoughts as another son born and raised in LA, listen to what he says about NOT burning the roux! Roux mix ~0.75 cents can ruin an expensive seafood or any other gumbo. Some like to skip the roux - well it just aint the same. I'll fess up to liking the slow cooked roux better and more a 1 to 1 ratio, but that's gumbo, they are all a bit different.

The holy trinity "mandatory" (bell pepper, celery, and onion) - can't remember too meals as a kid that didn't contain the holy trinity :) On the okra, it can make the gumbo a bit slimey. If that's not to your liking consider file powder as an option. I do recommend you taste and watch the file portion if it's new to you. It has a very destinctive taste and also acts as a thickening agent.

Now I think I'll make some seafood gumbo this weekend. Great thread!

Darrell
03-17-2010, 12:43 PM
Speciality markets?

I was talking about Safeway, bro. :r

The Safeway by me never has whole chickens. Just hens.

I'll check and see if there are any Foster Farms packs like you mentioned.

Starscream
03-17-2010, 06:07 PM
:dr

OLS
03-19-2010, 01:53 PM
The Safeway by me never has whole chickens. Just hens.

I'll check and see if there are any Foster Farms packs like you mentioned.For a minute I was thinking, FINE, hens. But you mean game hens I guess, not Baking hens. Man, you guys in California say it's so great, but you can't get a whole fryer in the store? What is this, Russia?
:D
I like the thickening of the Okra, it JUST borders on slimy or too gelatinous,but I like the thickening and the taste. But you can easily make this dish without okra, in fact if I was wanting to DO that, I would make a bit more roux. How much roux you use obviously dictates whether or not you get a 'floury' character to your base for the price of it's thickening. But a properly proportioned roux should not make a dish 'floury'. But without the okra, you might need to put a bit more roux, or add a half teaspoon of corn starch in the end. Give it some body. Real chicken and sausage gumbo tend to be more of a soup, kinda thin. That's why a really good sausage is paramount. Chiken and kielbasa with a watery base is not too appetizing.

Good luck to all. Like the man said, DO NOT ruin 30-40-50 bucks worth of ingredients for 50 cents worth of ROUX. I can remember burning a roux for my fellow servicemen in NC...50 bucks worth of seafood that I could have saved, but I just dumped it into a burnt roux, and spent 4 months apologizing for my idiotic mistake.

T.G
03-19-2010, 02:39 PM
For a minute I was thinking, FINE, hens. But you mean game hens I guess, not Baking hens. Man, you guys in California say it's so great, but you can't get a whole fryer in the store? What is this, Russia?
:D


No, just Campbell.

I've never had a problem finding whole fryers, even when I lived closer to where D. lives. Must just be the stores in his vicinity.

One of the markets here, I can even pick from commerical (Foster Farms), free range and free-range organic chickens. *shrug*

Every market in CA sells game hens, but I swear, other than the times I've bought them to cook beer-can hens, I've never seen anyone ever buy any, I seriously think that there are maybe 12 people in the entire state that buy game hens and they just travel from market to market to buy them up out of the markdown bins because they never sell until the butchers put them in the markdown bins for $2 for a twin-pack.

OLS
03-28-2010, 12:20 PM
they just travel from market to market to buy them up out of the markdown bins because they never sell until the butchers put them in the markdown bins for $2 for a twin-pack.

Haha, and yet they HAVE to carry them, lol. I won't lie, I love game hens fine, but have i ever
bought one...no.

MiamiE
03-28-2010, 01:06 PM
Going to try this tomorrow. Wish me luck!

BC-Axeman
04-29-2010, 11:31 AM
I'm going to try this recipe as an alternative to jambalaya.
We get whole chickens at Costco all the time. They come in 2 or 3 packs.
Oh, and stuffed game hens are in our regular family meal rotation.
Now I'm getting hungry.

mosesbotbol
04-29-2010, 11:46 AM
You had me excited until I saw the Okra. :td That is one veggie me no likey. Sounds like a good recipe though.

nomadicwookie
04-29-2010, 11:52 AM
Mmmmmmmmmm gumbo. I love a good cajun dish. Thanks!

OLS
04-29-2010, 04:09 PM
I'm going to try this recipe as an alternative to jambalaya..
For me it is a true tossup. I love em both when properly done. I like a meaty and greasy jambalaya
as opposed to a clean and fluffy one. When I was a kid in elem school, we used to get Jambalaya about
three times a month. It was orange-red, with nice chunks of smoked sausage in it and a few small
shrimp. God it was good. In fact I like jambalaya more cause I like a full fork and you can really pile up a
good jambalaya. Gumbo has liquid limits.

MiamiE
04-29-2010, 04:44 PM
Ima get my wife to make this. God knows I'll **** it up!

OLS
05-06-2010, 03:12 PM
You were supposed to have made it already a month ago or more...why should I believe you NOW? :r

OLS
07-02-2013, 10:05 AM
I hated to bump this, but it seems I never cleared this up, even with the intense discussion that ensued.
In this recipe, I say '1 whole chicken, cut up'....I seem to say it in all my recipes, but this is because my mother rarely
bought anything but a whole chicken. My dad would cut it up for her, and after he died, I would do the same, and
when she was cooking for other people, I would de-bone it as well.

You can use whatever chicken you want on this recipe. I DO suggest leaving the bones in the meat, because nothing
improves the flavor of a dish like a bone simmered for a few hours does. It is one of the main reasons my dad LOVED
Chicken Spaghetti. When I intend this to be eaten by other people, I simply fish out the bones with a cooking spoon
when I reach the consistency and done-ness I desire.

If you have thighs on sale, get that. If it is all drumsticks, that is more than fine. the chicken is the same no matter
how you buy it. BUT A WARNING, if you intend to use boneless breast meat, add it in the last half hour of cooking
and not before. It will dry out in the 2-3 hour cook time I prescribe here. Same reason I call for adding the sausage in
the last 15-20 minutes. Sausage's essence will fade away if added at the start. You want it fat and robust.

lastly, in recent cooks of this dish, I have found the pre-cooking of the okra step to be useless, since FEW of you will
be using fresh okra from the garden. If it is frozen from a bag, you can just dump it in with the onions at the start.
It will be more than delicious and perfectly cooked and mushed down. When this recipe is done properly, you won't
even know the okra is in there. You sure won't see a big ol piece floating in your bowl.