Another comfort food favourite, I wanted something to go with some dirty rice I bought in the States and of course it had to be gumbo! This was a fairly traditional gumbo that was packed full of flavour with the Cajun spices and really easy to make too.
Cajun Chicken Gumbo (from Good Food Magazine April 2012)
4 tbsp olive oil
5 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunky pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
3 bay leaves
5 tbsp plain flour
4 tsp Cajun spice mix
600ml chicken stock
2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
300g thickly sliced ham, trimmed of any fat and diced
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tbsp very roughly chopped parsley
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide casserole or a large frying pan and fry the chicken for a few mins to brown. Tip out onto a plate. Add the onion to the pan with 1 tbsp more oil and fry for 5 mins until almost softened. Add the celery and fry for another 2 mins, then tip out to join the chicken. Add the remaining oil, bay leaves and flour to the pan and cook into a paste. Carry on cooking, stirring constantly (with a splash of water if you need), until golden brown, then stir in the spices for 2 mins.
Gradually stir in the stock until smooth and saucy. Return the chicken and veg to the pan, along with the peppers, cover and simmer gently for 15 mins. Stir in the ham, cover and simmer gently for 10 mins more. Check for seasoning, then serve, sprinkled with the spring onions mixed with the chopped parsley.