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Unidentified Stew

by VM Brasseur on June 30th, 2007

Alright, it’s kinda pretty. All colorful. A little green. A little yellow. A little white. A lot of red. And it smells really good, sitting there on the stovetop bubbling away quietly. But what in the hell is it?

I don’t get paid for another week and a half and felt like avoiding doing a lot of shopping during that time (after my little shop-o-rama last week; ahem). I’m not about to live off of plain popcorn and some tofu just because I feel like being cheap for a change. This sent me on a bit of a quest throughout the kitchen to see what there was to see. I rummaged through my freezer and pulled out a package of chicken andouille sausage. Andouille? Really? I’ve had that and didn’t use it yet? Well, hell. Can’t have all that potential wasted, can we?

Inspiration struck. Sort of. While I was out and about avoiding a near crisis in the household[*] I picked up a bag of frozen okra and some chicken thighs. Then I came home and tossed something together.

  • 2 Tbl oil
  • 4 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 lb chicken andouille sausage, cut into small bits
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 28oz can ground tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bag frozen fire-roasted corn
  • 1 bag frozen okra
  • 2 cans beans (whatever you feel like; I used cannelini and some leftover Good Mother Stollards I had sitting around)
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 Tbl sweet paprika
  • cayenne to taste
  • 1 tsp ground grains of paradise (if you have it handy)
  • salt to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy pot (5.5qt seems the right size). Brown the chicken thighs then set them aside. When they’re cool enough, remove the skin. It’s done its work and can go. In the same oil, brown the sausage. Set it aside. If a lot of new oil has accumulated from the meats, pour it off until you have about 2Tbl again. Saute the onions and celery until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and mix them up, nestling the chicken thighs in there such that they’re covered by the stew. Bring to a simmer, cover, let cook for about 40 minutes. Remove the thighs from the pot, allow to cool again then remove the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pot. Stir it in, taste for salt. Works quite well served over long-grain rice (basmati in my case since that’s what I had that was long).

It ain’t gumbo, but I guess it’s vaguely gumbo-esque. I don’t know what to call it but I do know that it was damn tasty (which is lucky since I have a ton of it now). The okra added just the right about of body. The andouille and cayenne gave it a bit of kick. Overall it made a very satisfying meal. I’m home for the next few days and I’m looking forward to having this for lunches (and maybe dinners) during that time.

*: Out of litter for Moira. Out of toilet paper for me. Not a good situation.

From → Food, Recipe

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