Having a love affair with New Orleans, tends to lead to rich tasting dishes in my kitchen. The process and the layering of flavor is amazing, and ALL worth the time!
Creole food, not Cajun, seems to be the most popular in my household. We frequently make Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for Fat Tuesday. King Cakes travel back and forth between cousins, and who can resist a beignet?
But allow me to FOCUS!. In thinking of dinner dishes, what are the difference between Gumbo, Jambalaya, Etouffee and Red beans and rice? Today we will specifically focus on the difference between Gumbo and Jambalaya. (Etouffee, an entree, is thickened sauce of seafood plated over rice and the Red beans & rice is more of a side dish)
Gumbo, a soup er more a stew, is fabulously flavorful!! Thickened, with okra or file powder (pronounced [FEE-lay]) made from the dried ground leaves of the sassafras tree), and seasoned in layers by the process of making a roux and herbs. I'll be honest, I've cheated and not had either and we enjoyed it just as much! The slow simmer of this dish fills the kitchen with savory spicy scents all day long. Bonus, it can be ALL DONE IN ONE POT!!
Now for Jambalaya. A skillet filled with celery, peppers, and onions; then a meat such as chicken and sausage coupled with the addition of tomatoes to the pan followed by seafood and serve over rice. Ta Da Jambalaya!
But let us share this creole inspired creation!
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
3 Tbsp plus 3/4 c CHOICE OLIVE OIL
2 1/2 lb skinless chicken thighs, bone in
HIMALAYAN SALT AND BLACK PEPPER
1 medium bunch celery, thinly sliced
4 green/red bell peppers, diced
1/2 to 1 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
8 c homemade chicken broth
2 Tbsp JALAPENO BALSAMIC VINEGAR
1 1/2 lb andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 in chunks
Chopped scallions for garnish
BEST BOY CHOICE HOT SAUCE
In a heavy-based soup pot, heat 3 Tbsp of the oil over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, French Blend, dust it with 1/4 c of the flour, shake off excess.
Sear chicken in hot oil until golden brown, turning once to brown both sides, 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside.
Heat oil again, add celery, onions and peppers and cook until soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. Remove vegetables and any liquid from the pan and set aside. Add 3/4 c oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute over medium heat. slowly add the remaining flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is color of chocolate 10 to 20 minutes. Stir carefully, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. Pay attention not to burn the roux; if you do, start over.
When the roux has reached a good mahogany brown, return the cooked vegetables to the pot, along with the seasoning. Stir to scrape the bottom of the pot and cook until well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Slowly add the broth while stirring until smoothly blended. add the chicken and sausage. Bring a simmer and skim off excess fat. Add the Balsamic Vinegar. Simmer uncovered, skimming foam and fat as it rises. Until chicken meat is so tender it falls easily from the bones, about 2 hours. Remove the bones from the pot and discard.
Return the soup to a boil and stir in file powder, stirring vigorously to avoid clumping, until dissolved. Taste for seasoning, adding as necessary. Serve in bowls with a scoop of white rice and top with scallions and hot sauce.
The Olive Twist Ingredients: Choice Olive Oil, Himalayan salt, pepper, French Blend, Cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar and Best Boy Hot Sauce