I am from South Louisiana. Let's face it, folks.... we are known for our love of food. We love to grow it, we love to cook it, we love to eat it, and we love to share it! From delicious chicory coffee & beignets at Cafe Du Monde to the Thin Fried Catfish at historic Middendorf's, we know how to eat some good tasting food in South Louisiana!
Arguably one of the most well known chefs in Louisiana, is Chef John Folse. A renowned chef and resturant owner in Creole and Cajun cooking. From hosting food shows to writing books, Chef Folse has made his name in the food world.
One of the best cookbooks known to man (at least in my humble opinion) is The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine by John D. Folse. Its not just a cookbook. Its loaded with beautiful photos of Louisiana and a history lesson on top of it all. Its not cheap, but this is one of those cases where I can promise you, you get what you pay for!
From his book & also his website, I will share with you my favorite "go to" cold winter recipes of Chef Folse's.
Note: The following recipe is from Chef John Folse's website
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yeilds: 8-10 Servings
Chicken and sausage are the most popular gumbo ingredients in Louisiana. The ingredients were readily available since most Cajun families raised chickens and made a variety of sausages. Oysters were often added to this everyday dish for a special Sunday or holiday version.
NOTE: You may wish to boil chicken 1–2 hours before beginning gumbo. Reserve stock, bone chicken and use meat and stock in gumbo. Using a sharp boning knife, cut hen into 8–10 serving pieces. Remove as much fat as possible. Cut smoked sausage into ½-inch slices and set aside. In a 2-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until golden brown roux is achieved. Stir in onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Blend chicken and sausage into vegetable mixture, and sauté approximately 15 minutes. Add chicken stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 1 hour. Skim any fat or oil that rises to surface. Stir in mushrooms, green onions, bay leaf, thyme and basil. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook an additional 1–2 hours, if necessary, until chicken is tender and falling apart. Stir in parsley and adjust seasonings. Serve over steamed white rice.
"Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!"