Our Daring Cooks’ May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged us 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.
I have to admit here, I was not a huge fan of gumbo when we were in New Orleans last March. I’m not sure I had a “good” one but I certainly had an authentic one and I just found it really heavy. So I wanted to make something “gumbo-inspired” (which is totally fine for the International Incident Party) but the Daring Cooks might be after me. In any case I am not a huge fan of fish and a lot of seafood so I searched around for a gumbo involving chicken and came across one that could be made in the slow cooker. Could there be anything better in this, the last month of school, than an easy to assemble (and hopefully tasty) dish that would stretch across a few meals?
This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker’s Slow cooker chicken ‘n rice gumbo soup.
- ¾ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- ¼ pound fully cooked smoked sausage (like kielbasa), chopped
- 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can (14½ ounces) stewed tomatoes, in their juice
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 tablespoons Joe’s Stuff Seasoning *
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- about 6 oz fresh okra
- 3 cups hot cooked rice
- Hot pepper sauce, to serve
- Fresh thyme leaves, to serve
- Mix chicken, sausage, celery, carrot, onion, tomatoes, pepper, stock, sage, thyme and seasoning in 4- to 5-quart slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high setting 3 hours.
- At this point you can let the soup sit (refrigerated) overnight and when you are ready to finish it, bring it to room temperature.
- Stir in okra and tomato paste. Cover and cook on low heat setting 30 minutes longer.
- Spoon soup over rice in soup bowls. Serve with pepper sauce and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.
We ate it both as a soup (above) and as a thicker stew (photo at head of post) and whilst it was not authentic, it was tasty and I liked how you just made it as hot as you want with the addition of the hot sauce at then end. * The Joe’s Stuff Seasoning we bought is not that hot, though there are different varieties which you can purchase here.
This post also marks an end and a new beginning. It’s actually my 2 year blogiversary, my 575th post and my last Daring Cooks. I originally joined the Daring Cooks in December 2009 as a way of keeping myself challenged in the kitchen when I started my PhD and had no time to continue pursuing the Food and Media Certificate at George Brown College. Well this year, things changed dramatically and I have decided to take a break from my PhD at least for next year, mostly because I was not enjoying it and pretty much the whole time I was studying, I was thinking about what I could cook or photograph next. Yesterday I received the grades for the course I managed, despite many obstacles, to complete this term and I feel like it’s time to turn the corner on the blog and branch out bit from some of the blogging challenges I am involved in. Challenges are good and I have certainly learned a lot with the Daring Cooks but I am at a point in blogging where I need to find a path of my own and follow it. I am not sure where this will lead me but I sure hope you will follow along with me!
In the meantime, check out what everyone else brought to the IIP Gumbo Party: