Back home in Portugal we call it Carnaval.
It's mostly due to the Brazilian influences, and we party day and night for almost a week (not as bad as in Brazil). Here we call it Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.
New Orleans has been on my list of palces to visit in the US for a very long time. Something tells me the day I set foot there it will be love at first sight.
Cajun food is also on the top of my list. I am sure I never had the true original, but have been lucky to eat at pretty authentic (I think) restaurants and always loved everything I have tried. One of my absolute favorites is Gumbo.
A few years ago for the Super Bowl, as I was rooting to the Saints to win, I decided to make my own version of Gumbo. I read many, many recipes then started playing around with ingredients until I came up with this recipe.
It was a huge success, and still to date, people ask me for it. Now, again, this IS my interpretation with a touch of Portuguese flavors (mostly the cilantro), but I do not think you will be disappointed.
1 carcass of a broiled chicken
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of peppercorn
1 sliced carrot
2 onions finely minced
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 red bell peppers finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic finely minced
2 cups of flour
1 cup of oil
Fat from the andouille sausage
1 whole chicken cut into small pieces
8 andouille sausages in slices
4 cups of shrimps
5 tbsp Creole seasoning
2 tsp chillies
4 bay leaves
For the final day
1/2 cup of chopped green onions
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves
filé powder (you can find it at Sendick's)
- Create the chicken stock with all ingredients for it. Let it simmer for about 2 hours
- In a dutch oven or a cast iron pot, sauté the andouille sausage at medium heat
- Remove the andouille slices and let them stand on a paper towel
- In the fat of the andouille sausage, sauté the chicken pieces seasoned with creole seasoning
- Remove chicken and leave the fat in the pot
- Warm up the pot and add the oil
- Warm up again the chicken stock
- Add the flour to the cast iron pot and mix it well to create the roux for about 10 minutes at medium heat. You should get a color between dark peanut butter and chocolate
- Once you have a nice smooth roux add the veggies and sauté them in the roux for about 7 minutes
- Slowly add the hot chicken stock
- Keep on mixing well and bring the temperature to medium high
- Add the meats and seasoning apart from the filé powder and the shrimps
- Let it simmer for about 2 hours then leave it overnight in the fridge
- Place the Gumbo back into simmer for about 3 to 4 more hours, check if need for more seasoning
- Add the green onions, parsley and shrimps in the last 30 minutes of simmering
- Serve it in a bowl with white rice and filé powder on top