I’ve never been to New Orleans. That’s sad. I’ve wanted to go to New Orleans for as long as I can remember. My Dad used to promise that some year we would go to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras. Yeah, well, that didn’t pan out so well.
A lot of things come to mine when you hear or talk about New Orleans. Obviously, Katrina is a big one. But I’m talking about GOOD things. Delicious things.
All these things are foreign to me. Well, except the beignets and po boys. Those I’ve had. But nothing else. The cuisine in New Orleans makes my mouth water. I keep telling my husband that I want to go to New Orleans for our next vacation, but he doesn’t like to listen to me. ::shakes fist::
Thank goodness this month’s Daring Cook’s challenge was Gumbo because there happened to be a Gumbo recipe in my new cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen. I love this book. I love my slow cooker, but let’s face it, sometimes you throw something in the slow cooker and then fish it out, sometimes it just doesn’t taste good. It’s an amalgam of something. Don’t get me wrong, there are other times I put something in the slow cooker and it turns out AMAZING. Slow Cooker Revolution’s recipes are a little more involved than just throwing ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it do it’s magic, but believe me, the extra steps are WORTH IT.
Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.
Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 canola oil
- 2 onions, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I substituted using chicken base and boiling water)
- 1.25lb andouille sausage, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 12oz frozen cut okra, thawed and patted dry
- 2 bay leaves
- 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- dried parsley and red pepper flakes for garnish