I guess you could really just call this a stew, but that’s not really telling of what kind of awesome goes inside. You know what you’re getting into when you say gumbo or jambalaya. This is just like both of those, taking the great things about them, stewing them in a pot and pouring them over rice.
The spice is going to creep up on you quickly depending on what you go for in terms of sausage and how much cayenne and creole seasoning you use. The hotter the better for us, as usual. I like to blow my nose during the meal. Super classy, right? The rice soaks up all of the tomato juice and helps mellow the kick. I picked up the okra in the freezer section and finally grabbed a jar of filé powder. It’s a gumbo necessity. I don’t cook this stuff often, but ever since the cajun cooking class I’ve been meaning to get some. It adds a bit of flavor and is a wonderful thickening agent. I’ll even throw it on a bowl of curry every now and then if it’s particularly watery.
While you could use chicken breasts for this, I really really really advocate for thighs here. They have so much more flavor and stand up to cooking for longer periods without drying out. The shrimp is optional, but again, I highly recommend it. It’ll add another layer of flavor to this quick dish. It’s not going to benefit from long cooking time. It needs all the help it can get. You do sacrifice a bit of flavor for the sake of time if I’m honest, but sometimes I don’t want to wait. This is perfect for my impatience.
Inspiration: The Cozy Apron
- Olive oil
- 1lb andouille sausage, sliced
- 1lb chicken thighs [or breasts], cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 celery stalks, small dice
- 1 large yellow onion, small dice
- 1 large bell pepper, small dice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2lb okra, sliced
- 28oz can of tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups hot chicken stock
- 1/2lb cleaned and deveined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- rice, for serving
Heat some oil in large Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add the sausage. Let it sit for a minute or two so the oil starts to release from the meat and it starts to brown. Stir accordingly until all sides are heated. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel covered plate. Add the chicken to the pot. Brown it in the oil on all sides. Remove it to the plate with the sausage. Now add the onion, celery, and bell pepper [aka the holy trinity]. Stir occasionally until tender. Add the bay leaves, creole seasoning, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine in the oil and vegetables. Add the garlic and stir quickly so it doesn’t burn or stick. It should smell heavenly. Add the tomato paste, stirring for about a minute or two before adding the stock, okra, tomatoes, chicken stock, chicken and sausage. Stir and bring to a boil before turning down to a low simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Finally add the shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes and they get color. Sprinkle the parsley and cilantro on top before serving. Oh and remove the bay leaves. Service over rice.