Alright, tonight's recipe experiment turned out to be a keeper...Once again I took 3 different recipes to make one awesome recipe that suited my tastes.
When I was little, my dad tried to make gumbo once...he used Okra and I'm fairly sure I remember all of us just eating the chicken and sausage in the mix and leaving all the veggies....
This recipe doesn't use Okra (you can if you want), and it is delicious to the last bite- and believe me, the veggies will be your favorite part!
To start off, you will need to have Creole/Cajun seasoning...however, there is no point in buying a $5 or $6 jar of Creole/Cajun seasoning if you have a well stocked spice cabinet. Here is a recipe to make your own (you will need a container or jar, because there will be leftovers for future Cajun goodness.) This is a mix of 2 recipes that I found:
2 TBS onion powder
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS oregano
2 TBS basil
2 TBS pepper
1 TBS cayenne pepper
5 TBS paprika
5 TBS seasoning salt (regular salt can be used instead if that is all you have...that's what I did, and its just fine!)
Shake and mix it, and set it aside for later!
For the Gumbo you will need:
1 1/2 cups diced onion ( about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups diced green pepper (about 1)
1/2 cup diced red pepper (1/4 to 1/2 of one)
3- 4 stalks celery diced (I used larger stalks, so I only needed 3, but if yours are smaller, you'll want to err on the side of 4...you can use okra in this step instead if you have a love for it...I love almost all veggies, but I can honestly say I've never had good okra and so it and I are NOT friends)
1 package smoked sausage (I used smoked turkey sausage, it was cheaper. For those of you not in the know, this is the Hillshire Farm type sausage that is sold in a ring-ish type shape. Its next to polish sausage in your markets. You can use Andouille Sausage if you can find it, but its generally WAY more expensive than the smoked, and in my opinion, it doesn't make much of a flavor difference.)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized cubes.
2-4 cups of chicken broth (I just used boullion cubes and hot water. I used 4 cups and ours ended up really soupy, if you want a more thick gumbo err on the side of 2 cups.)
3 TBS margarine or butter
1 tsp salt
2-3 TBS of Creole Seasoning (I used 2 HEAPING tablespoon fulls.)
1 dash of red pepper sauce (i.e. hot sauce like Franks or even Tapitio sauce...as long as it has some heat.)
Throw veggies into the crock pot, put the sausage and chicken on top of veggies, add the chicken broth (or water and boullion cubes...) salt and creole seasoning. Mix around with a spoon and then put the dollop of butter or margarine on top. Set heat setting to low. Cook for 8 hours. With about an hour of cooking time left, add the red pepper sauce to taste (you may like it more spicey or less. Just taste test it and figure it out.) 20-30 minutes before cooking time take out some of the broth and mix it with 1- 2 heaping TBS of cornstarch or flour ( depending on what you need to get it to thicken.) mix in the broth you've taken out until there are no lumps, and add back into the crock pot, making sure to stir it well. Turn the heat up to high and allow it to thicken.
Serve over rice.
Bon appetite Darlings
Hugs and loves until next time!