Monday, February 22, 2010


I need desperately for a sunny, warm weekend. Or day. I would take day. One day without sludge-snow covering everything in this city made by machine. And a day with temps in the 50s.

This weekend I mostly stayed at home. I slept in and read for a large part of Saturday. Sunday, I went to church, read, went to church, watched A Serious Man (the Coen Bros are so weird) with Megan and slept. I didn't cook. I didn't even feel like eating anything. I like the thought of not doing anything, but it's beginning to get old at this point. Plus it feels like I should relax because I want to relax not because stepping one foot outside or opening the window to see that the snow is still there once more is enough to make me retreat under the covers of my bed with a book in hand. This seems about the right time of year for forty days of mourning and solemnity. I made this gumbo for a Mardi Gras party at work, and I may have to make it again once a week until asparagus is in season. It's hearty, making it the perfect meal for winter, yet spicy, which gives a nice wake-up call. Plus, nothing makes me happy like using my Dutch oven.

2 tablespoons flour
1 chicken breast
1 medium onion
1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
2 ounces sausage
2 ounces shrimp
1/4 cup rice
Louisiana hot sauce to season

On medium heat, toast the flour, dry, until it is lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Chop chicken into 1-inch cubes. Cook through with a bit of oil. Remove and set aside. Chop the onion, pepper, garlic and celery. Warm some oil on medium heat, add the vegetables and saute for a few minutes, until the onion is lightly browned. Season with chili, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, shrimp and sausage and already-cooked chicken. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add the flour back in along with the rice. Stir to incorporate. Simmer until rice is cooked through and the vegetables are softened (about 20 to 30 minutes). Serve and season with Louisiana hot sauce.

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