I wrote this months ago: Last week we had our first cool day of Fall, so I got us a hen and had it cut up into "gumbo pieces".
Most any Southern small town store has these "gumbo pieces" already on display. If not, the butcher will gladly cut them up for you. What they are, is a large baking hen cut (with their meat saw) into small pieces. This opens the large bones, exposing the marrow, which makes an amazing stock. Also, it being a mature hen, it stands up well to a couple hours of simmering, whereas , a young chicken, being so tender, will usually fall apart in the broth after an hour or so of cooking.
I also bought a lb. of andouille sausage and, giving a nod to my St. Landry roots, a lb. of Savoie's smoked sausage.
I sprinkled our own blend of Cajun spices over the hen,
sliced the andouille and put it and the chicken into a large pot, along with a gallon of water. I got it to boiling, then reduced it to simmer while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.
I sliced the sausage,
I sliced the sausage,
tossed it into one of my beloved cast iron skillets that has been in my family for generations, with some roughly chopped onions, a little more of our spice, then browned it all down, lightly cooking the onions.
Once it cooked down good I put it in the chicken andouille pot.
At this point, after another half an hour more of simmering, many of you would call it done, "a good gumbo" but, I like a nice brown roux in most of my gumbos. Now, since Peggy is a "celiac" and can't have anything with wheat or gluten in it, we can't make a traditional roux so, we constantly search for good alternatives. We've found that this Savoie's powdered roux is a good choice. We sprinkled what we thought would be the right amount into our gumbo pot...
let it simmer for another half an hour and voila!! Our first good gumbo of the season!
So, this begins our annual gumbo 'throw down'. I make a gumbo, then Peggy makes a gumbo, and repeat. I make simple old-fashioned style and Peggy, daughter of a chef, makes hers a bit more complicated, but what I like to call "award winning" good. They are all good, but I must admit my Yankee wife out-does 'er Cajun hubby. I think it's mostly cause you can taste more love and effort in hers. This is my first round offering. We plopped a big ol' sweet potato right into the middle of the bowl...another nod to my St. Landry Parish upbringing.Okay, Peggy, your turn, get busy! I can hardly wait. :-P