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Tag Archives: cajun

Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille Smoked Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Gumbo sprinkled with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

This recipe is from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. We’ve added shrimp to this, but it’s also good without it. Or you can omit the chicken and use sausage and shrimp.

For a big crowd we double the recipe. One recipe makes about 3- 4 quarts. We enjoy it either with or without the traditional rice.

The most unusual part of this recipe is making the roux. You can purchase roux at some grocery stores or specialty shops. Making it is not difficult, but it is surprising. The first time I made it I was certain I made a mistake and threw it out! The real flavor of gumbo comes from the roux. It is a pungent flavor on its own, but combined with the seasonings and other ingredients it’s divine!

This gumbo has a lot of broth that is not thick. It is full of flavor and is a dark color. You can make your own homemade chicken stock or broth. Or you can use store bought chicken stock. Or you can make a stock using a concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Stock base. These store versions can be salty, so limit your added salt if you use these types.

If you have the shrimp shells, simmer them in about 2-3 cups of water or so for 30 minutes. Strain the shells through a fine mesh strainer. Use this as part of your 7 cups of stock

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp with shells reserved
  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus another 1-2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 7 cups chicken stock ( including 2 cups of shrimp shell stock)
  • 1/2 pound andouille smoked sausage, cut into 1/4- 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Hot rice, optional
  • Sliced green onion
  • Tony Chachere’s Original Cajun Seasoning, optional

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from chicken. Rub a generous amount of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne on both sides of each piece, making sure each piece is evenly covered. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl combine onion, green pepper and celery. Set aside.
  3. In a paper or plastic bag combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake until the chicken is well coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour.
  4. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil until very hot (375-400F). Fry the chicken until the crust is browned and the meat is cooked, about 5-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Carefully pour the hot oil into a glass measuring cup, leaving as many browned particles in the skillet as possible. Scrape the pan with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck particles. Return 1/2 cup of the hot oil to the skillet.
  6. Making the roux: Place the pan over high heat. BE VERY CAREFUL! This burns if it splashes on your skin! Using a long handled metal whisk gradually stir in the reserved 1/2 cup seasoned flour. Whisk constantly until the roux turns a dark red-brown to black color. This is where I thought I made a mistake! It isn’t though. Do this cooking with a fan in a well ventilated area. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the brown color.
  7. Remove from heat when you’ve reached the right dark chocolate brown color. Immediately add the vegetables, stirring constantly until the roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well. You may even use a metal spatula to do this scraping.
  8. Meanwhile place the stock in an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Return to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan bottom often.
  9. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the garlic and andouille. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes, stirring often toward the end of cooking. Add as an option 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder and cook another 30 minutes to mellow the flavor.
  10. While the gumbo is simmering, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. When the gumbo is cooked add the chicken. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.
  11. To serve ladle 1 1/4 cups gumbo into a large soup bowl. Then using a scoop or mold place a rounded 1/3 cup of cooked rice in the center of the gumbo. Garnish with sliced green onion and a sprinkling of a cayenne pepper seasoning mix like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.
Seasoned Chicken Thighs
The Cajun Trilogy: Celery, Green Pepper & Onion
Diced Vegetables
Coat seasoned chicken in seasoned flour
Fry Chicken in Oil
Drain Fried Chicken on Paper Towels
Scrape and Keep Bits of Breading in Skillet as You Add 1/2 Cup Oil
Add 1/2 cup Seasoned Flour, Scrape and Stir Carefully Till Dark Brown
Light Rouxs
Dark Roux is Best for Gumbo
Andouille, Chicken and Vegetables Ready to Add to Gumbo
Adding Vegetables to Roux (I Used Red Pepper too)
Veggies Cooking in Roux
Add Roux to Simmering Broth
Add Andouille and Garlic to Simmering Gumbo
Add Chicken to Gumbo
Add Shrimp to Simmering Gumbo
Gumbo! Voila

Cajun Spicy Baked Chicken

  
This is another of my Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun recipes that’s best served with Dirty Rice and Gingersnap Gravy. See my Recipes list for links to these. 

If you look at his cookbook, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, this recipe is called Boneless Half Chicken. Each serving is one boneless chicken thigh and drumstick wrapped around a boneless chicken breast and tucked in an oval shape. The skin is left on both the breast and leg. My recipe serving size is one or two chicken thighs. The Dirty Rice is very meaty, so if it’s served with this chicken, I think one thigh is plenty!

  • Combine this seasoning mix in a small bowl:

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

  

  • Remove fat, rinse and dry well:

10-12 pieces of skinless boneless chicken thighs

  • Sprinkle and rub seasoning on both sides of chicken as evenly as you can 
  • Form each piece into a rounded oval by turning the two thin sides under
  • Place in a baking pan

 
 

  • Sprinkle with:

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

  

  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Bake chicken 20 minutes and test internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Increase baking time if needed. When it reaches 165 degrees, remove from the oven
  • Serve immediately, with or without the Dirty Rice and Gingersnap Gravy

Gingersnap Gravy

   

  
 

Gingersnap
Gravy is a spicy sauce seasoned with Cajun spices and is thickened with Gingersnap cookies. It’s a Paul Prudhomme Cajun recipe from Louisianna. I serve it with Dirty Rice and Spicy Cajun Chicken. See my Recipes list for these links.

  • In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix:

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

  • In a large skillet over medium heat melt:

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, your choice. The Cajun style is butter, as is the French.

  • Add and Saute:

3/4 cup finely chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  

  • Saute 5 minutes
  • Stir in the seasoning mix and cook 5 minutes, stirring

  

  • Add:

8 cups chicken stock

  • Bring to a boil and then simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 25 minutes
  • Whisk into the broth until dissolved:

12 Gingersnap cookies, broken in pieces

  

  • Continue cooking 10 minutes, whisking often.
  • Add:

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

  

  • Continue whisking and simmering a few minutes. Taste and add more gingersnaps, brown sugar or ginger if you prefer. Simmer after your additions a few minutes.
  • Strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer. Line it with cheesecloth too if you have it. You’ll have to press the gravy through the strainer with a spoon. 
  • Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Serve with Cajun food or any plain style chicken or rice.

  

  

Dirty Rice

  

This is Dirty Rice, Baked Spicy Cajun Chicken and Gingersnap Gravy.

Dirty Rice is a Cajun recipe that Paul Prudhomme made famous with his spicy style of cooking!

The Cajun people originated in southern France, emigrated to Nova Scotia in the early 1600’s, and settled in a colony that became known as Acadia. In the 1700’s the British drove them out and many migrated to Louisiana where they were well received by the French population there. Many settled along waterways and became farmers, trappers and fishermen.

Chef Prudhomme developed his skills and shared his love of Cajun food with the world.

So what’s the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking? Both cuisines were based on the use of local fresh products. 

Creole originated in New Orleans and is a mixture of the traditions of French, Spanish, Italian, American Indian, African and other ethnic groups.

Cajun is very old French country cooking which began in France, moved to Nova Scotia and then came to Louisiana. Creole is more sophisticated and complex than Cajun. It’s city cooking.

Creole cooking was prepared by the cooks and servants for the changing aristocracy of New Orleans. Cajun was prepared by country folks for their own families.

Here’s the ingredients

  
Paul Prudhommes recipes usually have a seasoning mix. My recipe is 1/3 the salt, cayenne and black pepper he uses. I like hot spicy food, but Paul’s heat is too much for me. Our Louisiana friends tell us the Cajun food does not have as much heat as Prudhommes. 

  • Combine these seasonings in a small bowl:

1 and 1/3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/3 teaspoons black pepper

2 and 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • In a large saucepan combine over high heat:

1 pound chicken gizzards and hearts, ground

1 pound ground fresh pork

4 bay leaves

  

  • Cook and stir until meat in thoroughly browned and broken up into tiny pieces with your spoon, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the seasoning mix and stir well
  • Add:

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

4 teaspoon minced garlic

  

  • Reduce to medium heat. Cook and stir 10 minutes.
  • Add 4 cups chicken stock and simmer with the lid partly on, about 10 minutes.

   
 

  • Add 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked rice.

  

  • Stir, cover and reduce to the lowest heat possible. Cook 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and keep covered 10 minutes or until rice is done. 
  • Serve immediately alone, as a side dish or with  Gingersnap Gravy and Spicy Baked Chicken

  
This rice a very meaty. Yummy as a main dish or a side. Traditionally the rice is served in a rounded form. I spooned some in a small cup and then inverted it on the plate. Gingersnap Gravy is a surprising addition, but not essential

What do you think?