Saturday, June 30, 2012

172/656 - Southern chicken, ham and okra gumbo

I love the word gumbo. And now that I have made this wonderful winter warmer I am pleased to say that it is not only the word with which I am besotted.  

The first step of making this amazing meal is to make a roux. I have made many a roux in my time, usually in the creation of a creamy béchamel, but never before has one taken me more than two hours to complete! This roux was made with vegetable oil rather than butter, as oil has a higher smoke point and can be taken to a much, much darker place. Even so, what should have taken an hour took more than double that in my kitchen. Worried I would burn my lovely silky sauce, I kept the heat down very, very low and stirred until I thought my arm would drop off....but got there in the end.   
I have mentioned before that I am a slow cook, but at this point it is worth noting that I am also an extremely patient cook. A match made in heaven to be sure.

Once the roux was complete, and the ingredients were all given their turn of being fried and yummified in the pan, it was time to put it all together and create a gumbo. At this stage we realised there would be another hour and a half of cooking and so the kids gave up, ate toasted sandwiches and went to bed.  

I don't know if this gumbo was really the best thing to pass my lips this winter or if we were just so hungry that we would have eaten our own offspring had we been forced to wait any longer. Either way, Trev and I were both impressed. 

Definitely, definitely worth the effort. 

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