Point No. 02, Love Where You Are From
Aaron Draplin is a lot of things: large, beardy, michiganian. But I prefer, inspirational. I recently came across his 50 Point Plan To Ruin Yer Career and he had me at Point No. 02:
Love Where You Are From
I’m from the great state of Louisiana. Terrebonne parish to be exact. Home of Mardi Gras, the Saints, and a history of nasty hurricanes - not to mention drinking openly on the street which makes the last three things even better.
I love it.
I moved to Los Angeles four years ago to make it in music… web development. It’s different. But I’ve done everything I can to bring that Louisiana feeling here:
- Dating someone (in LA) from Louisiana. Hey, Maggie.
- Turning all my LA friends into Saints fans and winning the Superbowl. Coat-Tail riders!
- And learning how to cook the food I grew up with: Cajun.
Tonight I’ll be live-blogging my Mom’s (or maybe it was her Mom’s, I’ll check) Chicken Gumbo recipe. Gumbo is a roux-based (flour and fat) soup dish that originated in south Louisiana. It’s damn tasty and the nicest hit of home nostalgia you can fit in a bowl. Check out the ingredients below and then scroll down to the live blog recipe for instructions. I’m off to cut some onions.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs, skinned
- 3 baseball sized onions, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
- ¼ cup flour
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- “Louisiana” brand hot sauce
- 1 tsp Zatarain’s gumbo file
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 quarts water
Live Blog Recipe #
- 8:15 PM - Success
- 8:00 PM - Take the lid off, lower your heat, and sprinkle in some file. It’s ready to eat as soon as your rice is done.
- 7:56 PM - 1 minute to go!
- 7:46 PM - 12 minutes to go. Maggie wants to make a salad. Booooo.
- 7:31 PM - I like rice with my gumbo so while it’s boiling, I get some started. I have an Aroma rice maker, so I just follow the included instructions, but you can make rice however you want. I’d suggest white long grain.
- 7:28 PM - Make sure to cover it up once it starts boiling and boil for 30 minutes.
- 7:22 PM - Add in your two quarts of water and bring it to a boil.
- 7:11 PM - Maggie is home. Tell her it’s almost ready. (It’s not ;-)
- 7:08 PM - Use the remaining 15 minutes to get your two quarts of water ready.
- 7:06 PM - 30 minutes into the smothering, stir your chicken once again and crumble in the remaining bouillon cubes.
- 6:58 PM - Pour yourself a drink in a Spahr’s Seafood cup.
- 6:51 PM - 15 minutes into the smothering, stir your chicken and crumble in some more bouillon cube. Make sure to recover the pot and keep it “low low.”
- 6:40 PM - Use this down time to clean up your dishes so far and foraging for snacks.
- 6:37 PM - Set your fire to low or as my mom calls it “low low” and cover the pot. We’ll be smothering the chicken for 45 minutes, checking it occasionally.
- 6:35 PM - Once everything is browned, combine all of the ingredients together and sprinkle some of the bouillon cube on top.
- 6:30 PM - Do not listen to @merket. Texas has never seen gumbo.
- 6:27 PM - Stop blogging. Go flip your chicken.
- 6:25 PM - Pro Tip: listen to Jazz while you’re doing this.
- 6:23 PM - Take the first batch of chicken out and set aside. Start browning the second batch. Remember, four minutes on each side.
- 6:20 PM - Eat a cracker. You’re starving.
- 6:18 PM - Flip your chicken to brown the other side. It’s ok if there are some brown bits sticking to the pot. That’s magic. Just make sure it doesn’t turn black.
- 6:17 PM - Sprinkle a little extra hot sauce for good luck.
- 6:15 PM - Onions done? Good. Now fit half your chicken into the bottom of your pot, raise the heat slightly, and let it start browning. I like to do four minutes for each side of the chicken.
- 6:12 PM - Skinned and seasoned. Yes, that much hot sauce. Trust me.
- 6:03 PM - While that’s happening, I like to skin and season my chicken. So let’s do that.
- 5:57 PM - Now that you’ve got yourself a roux throw your onions in and let those cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- 5:41 PM - Go off the record for 10 minutes while you stir the flour into the oil until it is golden brown. DO NOT let your flour burn, just keep stirring and don’t whine.
- 5:39 PM - Type some shit into your blog while waiting for that to get hot.
- 5:37 PM - Now, put your oil in the pot and set it to medium high.
- 5:36 PM - Legit setup starring my Mom’s famous pot
- 5:31 PM - Next step, set up Roux station. Pot, Flour, Oil, and a small sized whisk. BRB.
- 5:30 PM - Celery decimated
- 5:24 PM - Onions before and after
- 5:15 PM - Kitchen looks good, time to chop some onions and celery
- 5:00 PM - Cleaning my kitchen