Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I'm trying to make healthier meals at home to help me lose the extra pounds I've packed on since the wedding. Living with my carnivore, fat, high caloric loving husband makes this difficult. So I've started making some of our favorite recipes with more vegetables, and healthier ingredients. Today I made Gumbo for lunch, traditionally not the healthiest meal but I made some changes.

Here is the regular recipe

1 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large chicken (young hen preferred), cut into pieces
2 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Filé powder to taste Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly. Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux. If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut-butter color, over lower heat if you're nervous about burning it.
Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.
Add the stock, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.
Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a good beer and lots of hot, crispy French bread.
YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.

I made it with chicken breast and chicken sausage instead of regular sausage. I used wheat flour, and brown rice. I used heart healthy oil from smart balance We omitted the french bread and added many extra vegetables to the gumbo. (carrots, celery, etc.)

It was really yummy, even Josue loved it! I hope I can continue making healthier meals with my husband not hating them!

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