Saturday, October 9, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: Simple Saturday

My Saturday's are no longer simple - last Saturday I couldn't even post because I was out the door at 8 am and not back till 6.  My Saturdays are pretty much going to be like that for awhile.   It's Nutcracker Season.  For all you non-dancer mom and dads out there that means every waking moment from now until December 18th revolves around dance and rehearsals.  This year I have two dancers in the Nutcracker.  My Mae who is a doll and a boy in the party scene and a polly on pointe in the land of the sweets.  Lu is an angel and is very excited for her first nutcracker performance after watching her sister do it the past two years.  It's wonderful to watch the girls work so hard at something they really believe in. 

Because weekends are crazy, meals have to be planned well in advance.  There is no time to wake up and run out to the store.  I have been trying to crockpot Saturdays so when we get home from dance there is a nice hot meal waiting.  This is not a crockpot recipe but something I can throw together fairly quickly before dance and have hubby put it back on the stove an hour before we get home. It makes great leftovers and can be frozen and reheated.  It's a great recipe to double and tuck some in the freezer for next month ( minus the shrimp - you can add that when you reheat if you want.)

Here's what's cooking for today:

Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo

2 Lbs Chicken Breast halves, skinned
2 Qts Water
1/2 C Flour
2 C Onion, chopped
1 3/4 C Celery, chopped
1 1/2 C Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 C Green Onions, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 T Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 t Thyme
1 t Oregano
1/2 t Pepper
3 Bay Leaves
1 1/2 C Chicken Stock
8 oz Tomato Paste
1/2 Lb Smoked Sausage, sliced (we use Pepperoni)
1 Lb Fresh Shrimp, medium, unpeeled  (optional)
Hot cooked Rice

Combine chicken and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 45 minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove chicken from broth; set aside to cool.
Strain Broth, if desired, and transfer to a large container; set aside.
Bone and chop chicken; set aside.
Place flour in a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.
Cook onion and the next 4 ingredients in oil in Dutch oven over medium-heat, stirring constantly, until tender.
Add browned flour, thyme, and next 3 ingredients, stirring until smooth.
Add reserved broth, chicken, additional stock, tomato paste, and sausage.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour.
Peel and devein shrimp, add to mixture.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
Remove and discard bay leaves.
Serve over Rice.

Yield 4 1/2 Qts


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