Go into any city that has a restaurant that features Cajun food and they will boast about how their Cajun gumbo recipe is the best in the city. However, for those of us that are from Cajun country, we often walk away with an empty belly because of the disappointing dishes that they serve. Far too many people take unnecessary privileges with one of our most sacred dishes.
A real Cajun gumbo recipe is not something that lends itself to “modern flare.” While every chef wants to put their own little twist into their recipes, there are certain things about a Cajun gumbo recipe that should not be messed with. The two most common violations that I find when traveling is that they are mixing seafood with meat (an absolute forbidden for a true Cajun) and they don’t use a roux.
Just about every authentic Cajun gumbo recipe that you will find will be either chicken and sausage or seafood. For some reason, these wannabe Cajun chefs think that they can throw everything into the pot to make it their own special gumbo. Well, it might be special, but it sure as hell would not be served by any respectable Cajun cook.
Another thing that is often found in pseudo Cajun gumbo recipes is some type of substitution for the roux. Let me say this clearly and loudly so that there is no misunderstanding, “IF THERE IS NO ROUX, THEN THERE IS NO GUMBO!” Sorry for shouting, but people are trying to fancy something up by substituting red wine or some “gourmet” tomato blend, and all they end up doing is ruining a great Cajun gumbo recipe.
While I would normally not do this, I feel sorry for those of you that have not had the pleasure of actually tasting a real Cajun gumbo recipe so I am going to trust you with something that I have kept close to the vest from the very first day I stepped into a kitchen. As far as I am concerned, this is the Holy Grail of the Chicken & Sausage Cajun Gumbo recipes. It goes a little like this:
2 # boneless chicken breast (cubed & seasoned)
2 # boneless chicken thighs (cubed & seasoned)
1 # Andouille or smoked sausage (cubed)
20 oz chicken stock
1 1/4 gal water
16 oz Savoies dark roux
2 c chopped onion
½ c chopped bell pepper
T minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 c chopped green onion and parsley (Fresh)
1.Most failed attempts at making Gumbo reside with water/stock to roux ratio. It is critical to use the right amount of roux. The idea is to add enough roux to the water to remove all clarity plus (2) tbls +/- to attain desired heartiness. If you can see through it, you must add another tablespoon of roux.
2.Monitor the level of stock during cooking, it may boil out and become concentrated. Just add extra water should this happen.
Bring 1 1/4 gal water to a boil – add chicken stock, roux and dissolve as described above -Add Onion, Bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf & sausage – simmer 15-20 min. Add chicken–bring to a boil then add chopped green onion & parsley and simmer 15-20 minutes.
Season to taste with Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning (it is my favorite blend). It is important to adjust the seasoning at the end because soups will boil out and could get concentrated resulting in an over seasoned or salty Gumbo. Roux based gumbos & sauces should be, at the least, salted to blend all the flavors properly.
I like to serve gumbo in a large bowl w/small portion of cooked white rice with a slice of Garlic French Bread and a Baked Sweet Potato to compliment the dish.
About the Author:
Chad Nepveaux appreciates your interest in cajun food and cajun culture. Chad enjoys sharing his experience and understanding of cajun culture he has acquired from growing up in South Louisiana and earning his living cooking up a good time in the food and beverage industry. Visit Chad’s website http://www.cajun-food-specialties.com where you will find an insider perspective on cajun food, authentic cajun recipes and more!
Please tell me why in the world God would put the FORBIDDEN tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place?
if God didn’t want them to eat from it, then why did he put it there????
it’s like a parent putting a bowl of candy in their childs bedroom and telling them that they are not allowed to eat it from it, and when they do eat from it, they get punished.
You are wrong with your analogy…..It would be more correct if a parent put SEVERAL bowls of different candy in the child’s room and told them not to eat out of one particular bowl…..And that is the way it was in the Garden of Eden….There were so many different trees with fruit to eat from…God told Adam and Eat to not eat from one tree….and they disobeyed him anyways….
Sonata Arctica – The Worlds Forgotten The Words Forbidden
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