When the kids asked me what was for dinner tonight, I replied, “Chicken and sausage gumbo.” To which Aly responded, “Yum!” Yes. I was floored. I don’t think she’s ever even tasted gumbo. I have a feeling her gumbo association is with the Disney movie Princess and the Frog. But I’ll take it and hope that she’ll actually partake when the time comes.
Gumbo is a perfect meal to prepare in a crock pot. Once you have all of the chopping done, just put everything in the crock pot and enjoy your day. This recipe veers a little from the traditional. I added mushrooms and skipped the okra. I also thickened the gumbo by pureeing some of the cooked vegetable and broth, skipping the flour and bacon-fat roux altogether. Next time, I might puree a little more of the veggie/broth combo. The flavor of this was perfect—just the right amount of spice.
Cook the cauliflower rice in the microwave for a quick accompaniment.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker Food Made Fast.
- extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil - 2 Tbsp
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs - 6, cut into one-inch pieces
- andouille or other spicy smoked sausages - 1 pound, cut into one-inch pieces (be sure the sausage is paleo friendly)
- white mushrooms - 8 ounces, sliced
- red or green bell pepper - 1, seeded and chopped
- celery - 3 stalks, chopped
- yellow onion - 1, chopped
- chicken stock - 2 cups
- diced plum tomatoes - two 14 1/2-ounce can with juice
- bay leaves - 2
- sea salt - to taste
- ground cayenne pepper - 1/2 tsp
- head cauliflower - 1
- Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken pieces in the skillet and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to crock pot.
- Place all remaining ingredients, except for cauliflower, in the crock pot and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Scoop one cup of broth out using a liquid measure or ladle. Reserve for another use.
- Ladle 1 cup of veggies from the crock pot, then pour just enough broth over them to cover. Blend with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Return puree to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and cayenne, if desired.
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it is a rice-like consistency. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a plate. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked.
- To serve, spoon cauliflower rice into bowls and top with a healthy serving of gumbo.