Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chicken, lobster, & smoked andouille sausage gumbo

Gumbo Base
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups of water

1 pound medium shrimp (31/35 count), peeled and deveined, tails removed
OR may substitute 1 pound mini lobster tails
1 pound smoked andouille sausage links cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white and light green parts only)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, divided
Cooked white rice
5 strips of bacon cooked till crispy (rendered fat saved in pan)
3 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp of "better than bouillon" chicken base or 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube
1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
4 cups of water

First, pan sear the chicken breast on both sides in reserved bacon drippings. Add 4 cups of water to chicken, cover & simmer on low for 45 min.
Next, make a roux for the gumbo base: In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Stir in the flour and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, getting your spoon into the corners of the pot and stirring about every 15 seconds (do not leave the stovetop). The roux should simmer gently for the first 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to low. Stir almost constantly for 5 to 10 minutes more, watching carefully so the roux doesn’t scorch.

When the roux turns the color of dark peanut butter/caramel, stir in the onion, celery, and bell peppers. Continue to cook for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the cayenne, thyme, and bay leaves and stir to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Set aside chicken & add the chicken stock/bacon drippings from the cooked chicken to the gumbo base and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the sliced smoked sausages, & uncooked shrimp or lobster to the gumbo base. Dice the cooked chicken & sprinkle with the cajun seasoning & parsley...& also add to the gumbo base. Bring gumbo to a boil, stirring often untill shrimp/lobster is cooked through (5-10 min.) Turn off heat & serve with rice & scallions & hot sauce for that extra heat!

Helpful Tip: The gumbo base may be made up to two days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

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