Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Celebrating the Season with Snowshoeing and Gumbo

My ability to blog has been hampered by my recent sickness, which may or may not have been pneumonia. Either way I feel like last week was a complete blur. I was so tired and unable to sleep because laying down made me cough incessantly. The last two nights were great; I slept through the night and into the next day. I finally feel like I can function again.

An interesting treatment I tried is called "wet sock therapy". It involves putting damp socks in the freezer to get them nice and cold. Right before bed take a hot shower and then put the cold, wet socks on with another dry warm pair of socks on top of those. Sleep though the night like this and by morning the socks should be dry. This may sound like torture, but it really does work. It increases blood flow and immune function.


My inspiration for making gumbo was originally because I have sausage in my freezer that needs to be used. The fact that its Mardi Gras season and a recent episode of Top Chef, sealed the deal. I was a little bit nervous about making the roux. My patience only lasted until it looked like coffee with cream. My only issue in the end was that I didnt make enough roux, so it was not as thick as I would have liked. The combination of chicken broth, cayenne pepper and garlic was great for my sore throat, making this a good thing to make for sick people. I am pleased with how it came out and will definitely make it again.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

2 lbs raw chicken cut into small piece or thighs on the bone, skin removed

1/2-1 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille , cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces

1 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 celery ribs, chopped

1 large bell pepper, chopped

About 10 crimini mushrooms, chopped

salt and pepper

1 quart chicken stock, low sodium

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Hot sauce

Cover chicken with 1/4 cup flour. In a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven , heat 2 tablespoon of the butter. When melted add chicken and allow to brown for about 3 minutes on each sides. Set chicken aside. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Add remaining butter to pot and when melted add 1/4 cup flour, making a roux. Stir constantly until mixture turns dark brown.

Add onion, garlic, celery, bell peppers and mushrooms, salt and pepper. Allow to cook until wilted about 5 minutes. Slowly add broth until you reach desired thickness. Add creole seasoning and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add reserved chicken, sausage and parsley and cook for 1-1 1/2 hrs.

If using chicken on the bone remove pieces and allow chicken to fall off bone back into gumbo. Serve over rice with hot sauce on the side.

Last weekend as I was starting to get sick, I thought it would be a good idea to go snowshoeing. I actually didnt feel that bad at that point and Rachel and I had been planning this weekend together for awhile. It was great exercise and wonderful to get out into the woods. The weather was perfect - sunny and clear with plenty of fresh snow on the ground. We went to Adams, MA and snowshoed near Greylock Mountain/Thunderbolt.

Indy probably did not need a coat, but its so cute and I enjoy making her look silly.

This photo would have been so much better if she was not wearing the coat.

Along our hike there were some interesting remnants of a ski area. This area was in its peak in the 1930s and 1940s. Now it is used for cross country skiing, backcountry skiing, and snow mobiling in the winter.

1 comment:

Ben said...

You two are goofy! Well all three of you actually.