Next Tuesday, March 4, 2014, is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. I think most of us usually associate Mardi Gras with the rowdy celebrations on Bourbon Street. However, it actually began as a Christian holiday thousands of years ago in Europe and the first celebrations in the US were in Mobile, Alabama. It is the day of feasting before Lent begins. I do not typically fast during Lent, but I do take the opportunity during Mardi Gras to cook some scrumptious Cajun food. If you have visited Louisiana you know first hand that their food, and their way of cooking, is spectacular!
I was not exposed to a wide variety of Cajun food until I moved to the Gulf coast. However, while living there we ate our way across Louisiana and I fell in love with their cuisine! I now have several recipes that I cook often. Most of those recipes take hours to prepare and cook. This recipe, on the other hand, is fast and delicious! This is made possible, in part, because of the 5-minute roux. When making the 5-minute roux the peanut oil withstands the high heat without burning, vegetable oil with not work. For super fast preparation pick up a rotisserie chicken and don’t forget the beads while you’re out!
- ½ lb. andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices
- Peanut oil
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. coarsely chopped onion
- 1 c. chopped celery
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1½ to 3 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 3 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
- 4 c. chopped cooked chicken
- 1 c. frozen cut okra
- Hot cooked jasmine rice
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook sausage for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon; drain and set aside.
- Add enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to equal ½ cup. Whisk in flour and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until flour is chocolate-colored, whisking constantly. (Do not burn mixture!)
- Reduce heat to medium. Stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add cooked sausage, chicken, and okra; simmer, covered 5 minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice and French bread.