30 MINUTE MEAL
This may not be a traditional gumbo but it packs much of the essence: chicken, sausage, seafood, all with a bit of heat.
Everything cooks up fairly easily and the prep work takes about 10 minutes. When you are finished, you can serve it on a bed of fluffy rice, or in a bowl as is (the way I prefer. . .need to watch the carb intake, you know?)
So, what is gumbo? It is a stew originating in the South of the United States but it is influenced from so many different cultures. It normally takes hours to cook, to allow the flavours to meld together but when I am looking for a quick, hearty meal to make after work, I need to make some allowances and exceptions. The result is this recipe.
Begin by preparing all the ingredients in advance. The French call this mis en place. Once this is done, things move along nicely. You will need:
1 green pepper
1 medium onion
3/4 lbs of chicken thigh
4 oz. chorizo sausage
I like to cut everything up coarsly in a rustic manner. I am, after all, aiming for a quick meal. No fuss. One inch pieces approximately should do the trick.
If you don’t have all the ingredients you can certainly play around with them; for example, use red bell pepper instead of green, any onion, scallops or fish instead of prawns, and really, any smokey sausage will do.
As-a-matter-of-fact, DO make this recipe often and try new variations. How exciting is that?!?!
When everything is cut up, put your spices in a small bowl: 1 tsp mild smoked paprika, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp, smokey sea salt, 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs. Again, the variations can change to whatever you have on hand: regular salt, thyme, chipotle pepper. . . .but the smokey paprika should be a keeper.
That’s it. Now to the cooking. In a large pan, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and turn up the heat to medium-high. Once it is hot, add the chicken pieces. Don’t touch them for several minutes. You want a nice browning to happen. Flip the pieces and allow the other side to brown until the chicken is cooked. Set it aside in a bowl while reserving most of the cooking oil.
Next, add the prawns. These literally take about 1 minute in the high heat. They are done when both side turn pink. Toss the chorizo in so the oils from the sausage begin to seep out. This is flavour town. It takes about 30 seconds but makes a huge difference. I really like the dried, cured chorizo. It is perfect for this dish. Set the prawn and sausage mixture aside with the chicken. It is all getting mixed together so they can share a bowl.
Finally, the sauce. Add a Tbsp of butter, the onion and bell pepper to the hot pan. After several minutes of tossing and turning you will see a charring form on the vegetables. If you don’t, allow the mix to sit for a few minutes to let the pan do it’s job. The charring helps add a nice flavour. Once the vegetables have softened, add a can of diced tomatoes. I have fire roasted diced tomatoes that I adore. You can also add your spice mixture and 2-4 minced cloves of garlic.
Continue to cook on medium-high heat until the sauce thickens and becomes a bit more paste-like. Add all the proteins to the mix and give it a good stir to combine the ingredients. You can adjust seasoning if needed and there you have a 30 minute gumbo meal.
3/4 lbs chicken thigh, boneless
1 medium white onion
1 green bell pepper
4 oz. dried, cured chorizo
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked salt
1.2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-398 mL can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Chop the onion, bell pepper and chicken into approx. 1″ bite-sized pieces.
2. Place the salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and Italian herbs in a small dish.
3. Heat a large pan with olive oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add chicken and allow to cook for several minutes before flipping the chicken.
5. Flip the chicken and cook several more minutes until cooked through.
6. Remove chicken and place in a bowl.
7. Add prawns to the pan and cook for 1 minute or until pink.
8. Add chorizo to prawns and toss for about 30 seconds.
9. Remove prawns and chorizo mixture and add it to the bowl with the chicken.
10. Add butter to the pan with the onion and bell pepper.
11. When the ingredients have charred a bit and softened, add the can of tomato, spice mix, and garlic.
12. Stir until mixed and excess liquid has evaporated.
13. Add the bowl of proteins and toss until ingredients are combined.
14. Serve on its own or on a bowl of rice.
Protein 45.8 g