Cajun: Dirty Rice And Chicken Gumbo

When you have a congested head, you wish for anything to make you be able to breathe. When any of us are congested, I tend to swing our diet towards a Cajun spice pallet. There is something wonderful about a blend of various peppers, garlic and paprika cutting through the congestion and allowing the gift of smell and taste.

I thought I would share with you a few of our favorite recipes. I hope my family will not read this blog entry, because sometimes knowing what is in a recipe is not always a good thing.

The first recipe falls into one of my favorite topics of wasting money on premade or premixed seasoning packets. Do not waste your money on these when you might have a majority of the spices in your cabinet.
Cajun Seasoning
5 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 Tablespoon black pepper
3 Tablespoon white pepper
3  Tablespoon onion powder
3 Tablespoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoon chili powder
2 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon thyme
1 Tablespoon  basil
1 Tablespoon bay leaf
3 Tablespoon table salt
 Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid shake until combined, you will have a uniform color
You can mix this with a food processor. The jar method keeps all the dust contained and less likely of you having a sneezing fit from breathing in the pepper!
Dirty Rice
My son loves rice, any variety I serve he will devour it. One of his favorites is dirty rice. (psst, just don’t tell him there are chicken livers in here. He might stop eating this if he knew.)
2 Tablespoon oil
1 pound ground sausage
5 chicken livers, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 celery ribs, diced
1 green pepper,chopped
4 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked rice, brown or white
In large skillet heat oil, on high until it sizzles
Sautee onion, garlic, celery and peppers until soft
Remove from pan
Brown sausage and livers in skillet, add vegetables and seasonings cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally
Add rice and broth to skillet cook for another 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Gumbo is pure comfort food! With this recipe you will have to make a roux unless you are lucky enough to live somewhere it is sold. In my case, have a Crazy Cajun who takes pity and readily supplies it and Andouille Sausage. If you can find Andouille Sausage, get it, it is well worth the cost,if not substitute with smoked sausage.
If you cannot find the Andouille Sausage or feel like making roux, order it from The Cajun Supermarket. I need to order some Alligator meat, to try a few recipes I have!  
½ cup canola or extra light olive oil
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped white onions
½ cup chopped green bell peppers
½ cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
8 oz. Andouille sausage, cut into crosswise slices
2 chicken breast halves, cubed
5 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups rice
1 cup okra, cut into crosswise slices
1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley
Hot sauce, as desired
To make Roux: Combine the oil and flour together in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 12-15 minutes, until it turns the color of rich milk chocolate.
 Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to the roux and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to turn tender. Add the smoked sausage and chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir the stock, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves into the gumbo; bring it to a gentle simmer and cook it, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside to keep warm.
Add the okra to the gumbo and continue simmering it for 15-20 minutes, until the okra is tender. Remove the gumbo from the heat.
To serve the gumbo; place a scoop of warm rice in the center of a large soup bowl and add a ladleful of hot gumbo. Sprinkle it with a bit of fresh parsley and add hot sauce, as desired.