Sunday, February 11, 2007

Digital Darkroom Dames Dinner Party

As we would have needed a pontoon boat to even get to the Bay area, it was decided that the group would come over to use my flatbed scanner and that I would cook (I've been the unofficial cook since a trip into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's last summer to stay at a cabin). So being Mardi Gras is only a week and a half a way, I decided to do a Chicken-Sausage Gumbo that I have made over the last several years from Reader's Digest "Down Home Cooking, the New Healthier Way". I also made a sauteed greens with White Truffle Oil, Pancetta and Pignoli and Skillet Sizzled Cornbread. I've adapted the gumbo and added sweet potatoes finding it thickened the gumbo and added a wonderful taste. So here is the requested recipe:

Chicken-Sausage Gumbo

For the roux:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
For the gumbo:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 lbs. skinned chicken thighs
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup each chopped celery and sweet green pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups filtered cold water
2 lbs. smoked turkey sausage (or andouille if you like spicy), cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups okra, cut into 1 inch pieces or 10 oz package of sliced frozen okra
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1/4 cup minced parsley
Hot red pepper sauce to taste
4 cups cooked long grain white or brown rice

1. To prepare the roux: In a heavy 6-inch skillet, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until it is deep brown. Remove from the heat.

2. To prepare the gumbo: In a 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the pepper and salt. Brown the chicken for 4 minutes on each side or until golden, then transfer to a platter.

3. To the Dutch oven, add the onions, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the roux and heat until bubbly. Gradually whisk in the water, mixing until smooth.

4. Add the chicken, sausage and sweet potatoes, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black peeper, the ground red pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered. Skim the surface occasionally At about 45 minutes, mash the sweet potatoes against the sides of the pot with a fork and then stir. Cook 45-60 minutes more. Stir in the okra and green onions; cook 10 minutes longer. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with the red pepper sauce. Ladle the gumbo over the rice and top with extra green onions if desired. Makes eight
1 1/2 cup servings.

We had a ball, I learned more about my scanner and the condo is warm, cozy and redolent with the smells of good food.

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