On the Friday that I was invited to the Luxury Please event, I had planned to make a really nice, thick, tasty soup or stew. Days of grau in grau (Austrian term that means foggy, dark grey and cold weather) tend to put me in a mood for hot, yummy stews & soups. I recalled seeing a recipe for Chicken Gumbo that claimed to take only 30 minutes to make – perfect because I still needed to get dolled up for the party.
The tricky part was the first step – making roux. It’s taken me about a year to learn how to do this properly, I have burned more than my fair share and its pretty easy to burn roux. The three rules I follow are: focus only on the task at hand, keep the heat low, and never leave the pan/pot unattended. First, I melt the butter or heat the oil ‘low and slow’ (read: low-medium heat), add a tablespoon of universal flour at a time, and constantly stir. As the flour absorbs the oil, add more – one tablespoon at a time – until the mix becomes a small ball (kind of like bread dough). It should have a nice sheen but when left unstirred, should not start to leak oil (you’ll understand when you see it). Keep stirring and allow it to cook to a lovely golden color. This will happen so slowly that you won’t even realize it until you’re there. Do not for ANY reason leave your roux unattended or it WILL burn. If it burns, you have to start over; there is no way to save a roux.
Other than the roux, the rest of the gumbo comes together really easily. If you’d like to try it yourself, here’s the recipe. I made a few alterations (of course). Unable to find andouille sausage (a smoked sausage of French origin used in Cajun cooking) in Austria, I substituted Dürre wurst (a smoked sausage of Austrian origin, view it here). I roasted my chicken the day before (hubby loves rotisserie chicken with salad for dinner) and used fresh okras instead of frozen. The trick to keep them from making your dish slimy is to saute them prior to use. Other than that, I followed the recipe practically to the letter and I think it came out pretty well; what do you think?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it really did only take 30 minutes to complete. Malzeit!