"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicken Gumbo

Chicken Gumbo
Nine years of marriage, and I only discovered that my husband would LOVE chicken gumbo!

Well, it was my first time cooking it. We had leftover chicken meat from roast chicken that we had over the weekend. And I guess all of us were getting tired of the usual chicken-and-gravy-on-toast or chicken sandwich that we have had in the past to use up leftover roast chicken meat.

I was browsing a KAF catalog when I saw the photo of "Gumbo Biscuit Bake" and I thought I could make gumbo without the biscuit (to eliminate wheat).  When I still did not think much about consuming processed food, my fave soup to bring to work was Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup. Now that we have been trying to stay away from processed foods (for health reasons), seeing the recipe for this one inspired me to make my own.

Reading the other ingredients, I thought I'd use the tapioca flour as thickener. I also used 1 can of diced tomatoes instead of 2, and just added homemade tomato sauce (probably a cup), and used homemade chicken broth. 

The taste rivaled that of the commercial one, without the fake and unhealthy ingredients (like MSG or wheat, etc.). I think the natural umami developed in my homemade chicken broth made a big difference.

Thing was, I presumed hubby would not like it, so I cooked his usual ground beef-potatoes-brocolli meal (which I serve to him when I would cook something that he most likely would not eat like pancit canton). He was intrigued that I did not serve this to him, and asked to try a spoonful...and said it was delicious...and had another spoonful. Then he said he would eat what I cooked for him because I spent the effort and time to prepare it, but he would like to have the chicken gumbo for lunch the next day (he actually had it two days in a row).

2 tbsp cooking oil (I use coconut oil or chicken fat or pork lard)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
1 large green pepper ( to 8 oz), diced
1 lb smoked kielbasa, sliced
10 oz cooked chicken breast, diced (about 1 big breast; you may sautee the raw meat instead of using cooked)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes 
1/2 cup to 1 cup tomato sauce (I used homemade)
3 cups chicken broth (I used homemade)
1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour for thickening (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
The spices

Chicken breast, kielbasa, veggies


On medium high heat using a large saute pan , sautee the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies are soft.
Sauteeing veggies
Add the meat, spices, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and broth.
Add everything else
 Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low. Add the thickener
Bring to a simmer. Add the thickener
 Cover and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.
After 30 mins, serve or keep warm.
Taste and adjust salt as needed.
Serve hot. You might want to consider serving biscuits or rolls with this. 

To can: Upon adding all ingredients into the saucepan and mixing to distribute, wait for the sauce to boil then ladle into jars right away instead of simmering for 30 mins. 

The pressure canner will further cook the gumbo. Fill jars with 1 inch headspace. Use a bubbler to agitate and release bubbles, wipe rim with wet paper towel, adjust lids and bands. Pressure can for 60 mins at 10 psi on weighted gauge canner or 11 psi on dial-gauge canner.

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