A Winter’s Worth of Gumbo

I did it! I made four gallons of chicken and sausage gumbo for the family to eat over the winter. Click here to go straight to the recipe, or read on for the expanded version. My recipe is adapted from one given to me years ago by my friend Brian Tucker. I was introduced to Brian’s gumbo one day at a potluck lunch following a martial arts event. For some reason I was among the last to reach the buffet line, which by that time had been considerably picked over and now looked something like the desolation of Smaug, with little remaining besides a few raw carrots and some fried chicken breading crumbs. I was tired and hungry and cold, and as I passed empty serving dish after empty serving dish, my sinking feeling got sinking-er and sinking-er. Then I saw it: a slow cooker near the end of the line, still half full of some rich thick meaty dark mixture, with a stack of bowls placed thoughtfully beside it. I ladled myself a bowlful, and as I ate of the warm, delicious stuff, I thought, “God bless whoever made this gumbo.” I later learned that Brian was the man. I gave him some well-deserved thanks and praise, and he kindly gave me his recipe. I still have Brian’s recipe, a single page printed on both sides with thorough-going, single-spaced prose. Brian is a joyful cook, and his recipe fairly […]

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A Nice Vat of Chicken Stock

What with it getting so chilly and all (predicted highs in the low seventies for Friday and Saturday), I’ve been hankering to make a big batch of gumbo. The thing about gumbo is, I like best to eat it in the cold-weather months (the real cold-weather months, not this low seventies stuff), but okra is a summer-to-early-fall crop. Last year someone gifted us with two pounds of fresh okra late in the summer–just enough for a double batch of gumbo. I froze most of the gumbo, and we happily ate it through the winter. Then a couple of days ago, my mother-in-law sent a bag of okra home with my daughter–again, two pounds, exactly what I need. We just butchered our hog, so we have plenty of smoked sausage ready to go. Perfect timing. Gumbo starts with chicken stock, so I’m making that today. I’m including my chicken stock recipe in this post, and if you’re interested in that recipe and want to go right to it, you can find it here, with ingredients and procedure all compact and straightforward from start to finish without a lot of pictures and digressions and maundering on about the virtues of chicken stock and how I like to use it. If you don’t mind the maundering, read on. I make chicken stock in large vats. I figure if you’re going to make a gallon of chicken stock, you might as well make two […]

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