Chicken & Okra Gumbo !

Our Cajun in a Box, Chicken & Okra, “Gumbo” is a Cajun Country Tradition.

Wednesday is generally Gumbo day here, Chicken & Okra will bring you in from that beautiful weather we have been enjoying, here in Cajun Country. The flavors of this traditional gumbo, with the locally sourced chicken, and  black pot fried okra, and our sides, of Country corn bread,locally grown and milled and baked  Cajun country grown sweet potatoes, Cajun in a Box uses fresh & local in our meals, supporting local merchants, growers, butchers, and Cajun Country Business. So back to our Gumbo.

Our List of ingredients;

1 large hen; cut up.

2 cups chopped onions,

1/4 cup diced tomato

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped onion tops

1 1/2 pound chopped okra

1 1/2 cup flour-all purpose

1 1/2 cup oil,

1 1/2 gallon water

Be sure to have your favorite gumbo pot ready, also a skillet to fry your okra, (A tip), fry your okra to prevent the goo from getting you. I always cook my okra, and diced tomato then season it before adding it, to my gumbo.

Lets brown our hen,  remove it and add remainder of oil, flour make your roux, I like a dark brown roux, and if you don’t have time ,  skip this part and use a local bottled  roux, they are really good.

Now we will add our water and roux, blend this well and just like when you make your roux, this needs some attention, because you don’t want to, boil it over, or stick your roux, it will burn and leave all those little black flakes of burnt roux, hard to swallow!

We will add the ingredients except our onion tops, and parsley, you add these last. My seasonings are added as I feel the need, and then at the end season to taste, I always dip out a taste let cool a bit, and then I can taste my seasonings, (another tip), the last thing I do is add my onion tops, and parsley, stir it once, cover and turn off the heat, while I get everything else ready for my guest.

Serve this over rice, with sides, of corn bread with a pat,( butter) baked sweet potato, and enjoy. You are serving your Family a Cajun Tradition!

As always!

Cazan.

 

 

 

Cajun Cuisine

Cajun cuisine   is a style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian people deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine; locally available ingredients predominate and preparation is simple.

An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, special made sausages, or some seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available. Crawfish, shrimp, and andouille sausage are staple meats used in a variety of dishes.

The aromatic vegetables green bell pepper, onion, and celery are called the holy trinity by Cajun chefs in Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines. Roughly diced and combined in cooking, the method is similar to the use of the mirepoix in traditional French cuisine which blends roughly diced onion, celery and carrot. Characteristic aromatics for the Creole version may also include parsley, bay leaf, green onions, dried cayenne pepper, and dried black pepper.

Cooking bases

  • Dark roux: The Cajuns inherited the roux from the French. However, unlike the French, it is made with oil or bacon fat and more lately olive oil, however, not normally with butter. It is used as a thickening agent, especially in gumbo and étouffée. Preparation of a dark roux is probably the most involved or complicated procedure in Cajun cuisine,  involving heating fat and flour very carefully, constantly stirring for about 15–45 minutes (depending on the color of the desired product), until the mixture has darkened in color and developed a nutty flavor. The temperature should not be too high, as a burnt roux renders a dish unpalatable.
  • Light roux: The secret to making a good gumbo is pairing the roux with the protein.  A dark roux, with its strong (dense) nutty flavor will completely overpower a simple seafood gumbo, but is the perfect complement to a gumbo using chicken, sausage, crawfish or alligator. A light roux, on the other hand, is better suited for strictly seafood dishes and unsuitable for meat gumbos for the reason that it does not support the heavier meat flavor as well. Pairing Roux with protein follows the same orthodox philosophy as pairing wine with protein.

Stocks: Cajun stocks are more heavily seasoned than Continental counterparts, and the shellfish stock sometimes made with shrimp and crawfish heads is unique to Cajun cuisine.

Cajun dishes

 

 

Boudin is a type of sausage made from pork, pork liver, rice, garlic, green onions and other spices. It is widely available by the link or pound from butcher shops. Boudin is typically stuffed in a natural casing and has a softer consistency than other, better-known sausage varieties. It is usually served with side dishes such as rice dressing, maque choux or bread. Boudin balls are commonly served in southern Louisiana restaurants and are made by taking the boudin out of the case and frying it in spherical for balls.

Gumbo – High on the list of favorites of Cajun cooking are the soups called gumbos. Contrary to non-Cajun or Continental beliefs, gumbo does not mean simply “everything in the pot”. Gumbo exemplifies the influence of French, Spanish, African and Native American food cultures on Cajun cuisine. The name originally meant okra, a word brought to the region from western Africa. Okra which can be one of the principal ingredients in gumbo recipes is used as a thickening agent and for its distinct vegetable flavor. Many claim that Gumbo is a “Cajun” dish, but Gumbo was established long before the Acadian arrival. Its early existence came via the early French Creole culture In New Orleans, Louisiana, where French, Spanish and Africans frequented and also influenced by later waves of Italian, German and Irish settlers.

A filé gumbo is thickened with dried sassafras leaves after the stew has finished cooking, a practice borrowed from the Choctaw Indians. The backbone of a gumbo is roux of which there are two variations: Cajun, a golden brown roux, and Creole, a dark roux, which is made of flour, toasted until well-browned, and fat or oil. The classic gumbo is made with chicken and the Cajun sausage called andouille, pronounced {ahn-doo-wee}, but the ingredients vary according to what is available.

Jambalaya – Another classic Cajun dish is jambalaya. The only certain thing that can be said about a jambalaya is that it contains rice, some sort of meat (such as chicken or beef), seafood (such as shrimp or crawfish) or almost anything else. Usually, however, one will find green peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes and hot chili peppers. Anything else is optional. This is also a great pre-Acadian dish, established by the Spanish in Louisiana.

Rice and gravy – Rice and gravy dishes are a staple of Cajun cuisine and is usually a brown gravy based on pan drippings, which are deglazed and simmered with extra seasonings and served over steamed or boiled rice. The dish is traditionally made from cheaper cuts of meat and cooked in a cast iron pot, typically for an extended time period in order to let the tough cuts of meat become tender.  Beef,  pork, chicken or any of a large variety of game meats are used for its preparation.  Popular local varieties include hamburger steak, smothered rabbit,  turkey necks,  and chicken fricassee.

Cajun Country cooking, being done daily, and we would love to share more with you. So join us here at Cajun in a box, as we stir up something Good!

As always.

Cazan.

Cajun in a Box, Join us!

As We begin our Journey, with Cajun in a Box, We hope you join us and experience daily life along the bayous, bays, lakes rivers, and all of Cajun Country. with our New Mercantile, We hope we are able to earn your Trust, & Business.

Cajun in a Box “Mercantile”, Coming Soon, Offering Cajun Country Merchandise, Including our Cook Book, Cajun in a Box “Boxes”! All of our Goods & Services.

Cajun in a Box, We offer all the sights, sounds & taste, of life along South, Louisiana, from the Sabine river, & and the Rio Hondo, east to the Florida parishes,against the Greater New Orleans, parishes, to the north along Cen-La, South along our coast, the Gulf of Mexico, we’ll travel to many of the Bays, bayous, and rivers in search of our Cajun Roots, and a meal, & a fais do do. Our lives revolve around the seasons and the tides, Our menus will reflect the ebb & flow along our coast, even the moon helps us fill our desires, that have been since the first Peoples, Crabs, & Crabbers, Shrimp & shrimpers,  hard and dangerous but fulfilling lives,  Cajun fishermen, have lifted nets full of Catfish, & Craw fish in the Atchafalaya basin since the Grand derangement. When the Cajuns started their Journey from Nova, Scotia.

We have so much to do, so Lets begin, as always right after breakfast, ( de jenier), so join us and we’ll live like Cajuns!

As Always.

Cazan.