Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Gumbo

We started a tradition in our family many years ago....presents would be open on Christmas Eve after a meal of Chicken & Aundouille Gumbo (aundouille is a German Sausage made in south Louisiana with the best place to buy it being LaPlace, LA where we lived for 20+ years).  LaPlace is the AUNDOUILLE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD....this is even written on the water tower of the town!  The Jacob family has been making it for as long as I can remember and beyond and they have a product that has not been duplicated anywhere else...even here in Acadiana where I live now.   Anyway...I'm sure I'm spelling it's not a word found in the dictionary and I cannot ever remember how to spell this sausage.

So, every Christmas Eve I would get going with the preparations....making potato salad to go along with it and of course crispy french bread!  We would eat the gumbo...and then in a circle, with gifts given to each child, they would open them one by one in an orderly fashion savoring every exciting anticipated moment!

Advance ahead about 20 years and you will see 3 daughters who have produced 5 children ranging in age from 8 to 2....3 spouses and of course Wayne and I.....the candle-lit Christmas Eve dinners are a thing of yesteryear...and forget any type of orderly opening of the presents!  By the time you get the kids situated around the table...and then you serve yourself and your spouse...the kids are through...or spilling, or trying to get down and run around the tree, etc. etc.   I think you  get the picture.

Well, the gumbo still is good.   I still take out the fine china....the candles are lit...however, Gracie (the 4 year old) cannot stand to see one burning and wants it put out...Hunter (2 years old) wants to chew on them....but with a promise that we will pick up the tradition maybe by the time they are 10 or 12....we do enjoy the gumbo!

I thought I'd give my step-by-step guide to how I make a Southern Creole-type Gumbo in this blog.  By the way, you may have noticed that I use "creole" a lot when describing certain dishes that I prepare....what I mean by that is NOT just a Cajun using cayenne pepper....but a recipe using the "trinity" of seasonings: 
Step 1:
Get out the gumbo pot and boil the sausage which has been sliced (this year I had forgotten to purchase my LaPlace Aundouille ahead of time, so I had to use a local smoked sausage....not  as much flavor.

Step 2:
Season (with Tony Chachere's) the chicken and brown in a skillet
I use thighs since my family likes the dark meat
Step 3:
Start your roux which is equal amounts of flour and oil which is browned to a deep caramel color
I do my roux in the and stirring every 3 minutes, then 2 minutes, then 1 minute then down to 30 sec. between stirring to get it to the right color and NOT burn it

you can see the natural progression of the color
At this point you will throw in a bag of Picksweet frozen seasoning (onions, celery, bellpeppers) and about 3 toes of minced garlic and you will fry it down in the roux mixture until soft.....then it all goes in the gumbo pot
which has the water, sausage and the chicken pieces from the fry pan

Let it come to a boil and then turn down to medium heat and let cook....finally to simmer (covered) thing about gumbo..the more it cooks the better the will also want to add more cajun seasoning (tony's)...or salt and pepper to taste

You may notice that I don't give measurements except for the roux....this is not a scientific's one I watched my Mother do and just tweeked it for my lifestyle....i.e., frozen seasoning and using the microwave to make the roux.  My Mother and Grandmother would chop all of the seasonings and cook that roux in a black iron skillet on the stove!

In a few months from now...I'll share with you my Shrimp and Okra Gumbo.

Before I leave's some pictures of 2 of our grandchildren playing on Wayne's display in the yard on Christmas Day....
Grace and Hunter who love to follow their paw paw out in the yard and play with the wooden lighted displays!  By the way, our two oldest Grandchildren Julia and Joshua were already in Tampa for Christmas, but they are coming here in 2 weeks for us to celebrate the holiday with them and Julia's 9th birthday celebration....maybe a candle light dinner will be manageable for that dinner.......I'll keep you "posted".

Till tomorrow when I'll share some thoughts on 2010.    See you then!


  1. We've left Louisiana yesterday (now in Austin area). Had lots of Gumbo last three weeks. No doubt there will be more as soon as Len gets the craving.

  2. We always have turket on xmas but I boil down the carcass and save the stock for a new year's gumbo... mmmmmmm mmmmmmmm good!