Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ric Orlando's Chicken Gumbo Recipe

This Creole Chicken Gumbo is a slowly cooked, dark and earthy, OMG-delish stew.  The real deal, baby!

Makes enough for 4 to eat twice

Vegetable oil
½ pound andouille sausage, sliced
3 pounds natural or local chicken thighs
2 cups each: medium dice bell peppers, celery, and onion
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 cup parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix (have you tried my CAGE yet?)
1 tablespoon dry thyme
Worcestershire sauce
2 cups okra, sliced
6 cups chicken cooking liquid (see below)
4 cups tomato juice
1 can generic round tomatoes, squished
salt and pepper
2 cups long grain white or brown rice.

The braising will take at least 2 hours, so make time!

Put the chicken in a pot. Cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil. Skim any skim that may accumulate. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Reserve the broth and the bird. Once cooked, pull all the meat from the chicken and roughly chop.  Set aside.

In a heavy casserole pan, add the sausage and ham and lightly brown. Add the veggies and wilt until soft but not brown. And the thyme and Cajun seasoning and stir to coat. Cook a few minutes and then add tomato juice and reserved chicken broth. After an hour of cooking, add the tomatoes and the okra and cook for another 20 minutes. Pick up the palate by adding dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco to taste. Now stir in 1 cup of roux. Cook gently another 15-20 minutes to thicken. 

Simple Rice

In a decent pot add a drizzle of vegetable oil. Add the 2 cups of rice and 2 teaspoons salt. Heat until you begin to hear a sizzle. Stir once. Add 3 cups of water. Stir once more. Bring to a boil. Cover snugly. No more stirring. Reduce heat to very low and allow to steam for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.  Done!

Making Cajun Roux, my way.

There are plenty of ways to make dark, chocolaty roux. Most are a pain but this is a pretty simple technique. 

1 ½ cups flour
2 cups pork lard, duck fat, clarified butter or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 475 F.

*Remember that dark roux is as hot as caramel, reaching 400-500 degrees. Don't touch it!*

In a heavy, oven-safe skillet melt the fat. Add the flour and whisk in until smooth. Cook for a few minutes to make sure all of the flour is amalgamated with the fat.

Now put the entire pan in the hot oven and set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, carefully whisk the mix. It should be getting golden. Repeat this procedure, cutting back the time each time until your roux resembles mild chocolate.

Once you've made the roux, you should carefully add some of it to the warm stew. Bring the stew back to a boil. Add a little more of the roux until you have reached the desired thickness. The stew will thicken as it boils. Be patient.

You can and should reserve any leftover roux, refrigerated, for up to 3 months.

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