Now, if you are from New Orleans, you probably get the gist of what I’m saying…we like to end our words normally ending with an “o” with an “eaux” instead. Why? Because we are special…
Other weird things (at least that I know of) that we like to say….
Neutral ground = street median
If I’m going to a Mardi Gras parade, trying to find someone, you either stand on the neutral ground side or the shoulder side of the street.
Brake tag = inspection sticker
Every year, you get a sticker to check your brake lights, blinkers, etc. This, to people from the NOLA area, is a brake tag folks.
Sha = term for friend/child/whatever…people can call you sha (a pronounced like a in apple)
You’ll sometimes hear someone greet another person…whatcha doin’ der sha? Seriously..don’t judge us.
Geaux = Go
If you ever find yourself in the lucky 92,000 people who are able to squeeze into Tiger Stadium (LSU) on a Saturday night, we don’t scream “GO TIGERS!”, rather it’s “GEAUX TIGERS!” Pronounced just the same, but it feels special.
Now, don’t let our vocabulary deter you from trying a bowl of this amazingness. Gumbo (yes, I’ll be normal for the rest of this blog entry) isn’t too crazy. It’s basically a smokey stew of chicken/sausage or seafood on rice. If you want to be adventurous, you can add frog legs or alligator, but folks, I’ll keep this simple.
The base of most cajun dishes is a good, dark roux. I will admit, this being my first time, I was very intimidated of burning the roux. Burnt roux isn’t good in gumbo. So, after watching my favorite Food Network chef, Alton Brown, try to master gumbo, I decided to use some parts of his recipe to help me out.
His method? Oven baked roux….perfection, right? It worked out really really well for us. Oh yeah and my hubs gave a HUGE helping hand during this. There is a lot going on at once, and since I’m new to cooking, I don’t think I could have done it alone.
However, in the recipe, it only makes 5 qts. of gumbo.
I would like to say that in Louisiana, just making a 5 qt. pot of gumbo is not only shameful, it’s downright rude…hehe. When making gumbo, you invite people over and 5 qts. just won’t make the cajun appetite very happy at all. So, we doubled the recipe and made HEAVY changes to it.
I present to you – chicken, andouille, sausage and crab gumbo.
Chicken, Andouille, Sausage and Crab Gumbo
Inspired by: Alton Brown
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours (or until dark brown/brick colored), whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.
After the roux bakes for 30 minutes, cut up the chicken breasts into small chunks. Place the chicken in a pot (at least 12 qts.) with a gallon of water and the bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat a little to simmer for 1 hour.
Once the roux is done, carefully remove it from the oven and set over medium-high heat. Gently add the onions, celery, green peppers and garlic and cook, moving constantly for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the salt, black pepper, thyme, basil, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the 12 qt. pot with the chicken, stirring to avoid clumps of roux in the gumbo. Add sausage and andouille. Decrease the heat to low, cover and cook for 25-35 minutes, until the sausage looks done and the chicken shreds easily. Turn off the heat, add the crabs to combine. Add the file powder while stirring constantly. Cover and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving. Serve over rice.