Gumbo, the popular Cajun dish, is usually made with rice, sausage, seafood, and other ingredients, like chicken and spices of various sorts. There are parts of traditional gumbo that I like, but since I don’t like seafood and most restaurant gumbos come with different kinds of fish and shellfish, it’s seldom a good choice for me if I’m eating out. However, I like some of the ingredients, so making my own gumbo recipe at home was no problem. I pretty much just came up with a recipe that features the common ingredients that I like, and I discarded what I don’t. Essentially what my Steven-friendly gumbo comes out to is a combination of chicken sausage, flavored rice, canned chicken, and seasonings. It may not be “traditional” gumbo, but it works for me, and I find it to be tasty and filling.
It’s hard to say that this recipe is healthy, exactly. If you use a boxed rice like Rice-A-Roni, it’s high in sodium, as is the sausage. Therefore, this isn’t a recipe that I have too often. At least if you make it you can use chicken sausage rather than pork or beef, which brings down the total and saturated fat content.
My gumbo is tailored to my liking, and uses primarily rice, chicken, and lower-in-fat chicken sausage.
First, cook the Rice-A-Roni as instructed on the box. Basically you're just adding the rice, water, and seasoning packet to a microwave safe bowl and cooking it for about twenty minutes. You can use a different flavor of Rice-A-Roni if you want, but I like the reduced sodium chicken one because it doesn't have as much salt. Or, if you want a healthier recipe, you can just cook a cup and a half of regular rice and add whatever spices you desire. Granulated garlic, onion powder, and paprika works well.
Next, place the chicken sausages on several paper towels in the microwave, first slitting them with a knife to make sure they don't explode while they're cooking; that's a big mess to clean up. Cook them for about five-six minutes. I like the buffalo-style reduced fat sausages from Al Fresco. They have a little kick of heat and they're available at most of the stores around here. While they're cooking, open two or three cans of breast meat chicken, depending on how much gumbo you want. Drain off the water, and spoon the chicken into the bowl with the rice.
Remove the cooked sausages from the microwave. Once they cool, slice them thinly and add them to the bowl as well. Now stir the three principle ingredients with a spoon, let sit for a few minutes while it cools, and serve. You should get five-six good sized bowls out of this recipe, depending on how many cans of chicken you used.
I like to add a dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce to this gumbo. It clears out the sinuses!