Mardi Gras

With Fat Tuesday being yesterday, it brought back some wonderful memories of our time spent in Alabama.   Mobile, Alabama is the birth place of the Mardi Gras tradition, although most people think it originated in New Orleans.  We got to experience the festivities last year, and we were missing them this year.  The adults had just as much fun as the kids at the parades with catching beads and other goodies.  So in honor of our stay near Mobile, we celebrated Mardi Gras with some special traditions that they have down there.  We made some Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo, Beignets from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, and had moon pies and I also pulled out a few of the many beads that we caught last year for the kids to play with.  It was fun, but nothing like the fun that we had at the parades down south!




Gumbo


Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

2 cups flour

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup chopped celery

3 large garlic cloves finely diced

3 bay leaves

5 boneless chicken breast halves cut up into bite size pieces***

3 cups andouille chopped (any lean smoked sausage will work)

1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (or 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)

1 teaspoon Tabasco

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 quarts chicken stock

1/4 cup chopped green onion

DIRECTIONS: Place oil and flour in a large heavy pot and make a dark brown roux. When roux is color of milk chocolate add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté for 6-8 minutes until vegetables are soft. You will need a pot of at least a 6-quart size to handle this volume. If your roux pot is not big enough you can transfer the roux to a large pot, then add the rest of the ingredients. Add heated chicken stock, stir well and bring to a slow boil. Turn down heat to low simmer, add bay leaves, andouille, Tony Chachere's seasoning, Tabasco and parsley. Allow this to simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add chicken and sauté 1 more hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Note: This recipe is light on added salt since the chicken stock, chicken and andouille all contain salt. After cooking taste and add salt if needed. Serve with rice and sprinkle chopped green onions as a garnish and to add flavor. Include a fresh garden salad with warm french bread. Will serve 10 to 12.


***I used only 3 chicken breasts and then added 24 oz (2 bag) of raw shrimp, cut in half to the mixture.  It was wonderful!





Beignets



Daphne, AL Parade 2010



Mobile, AL Parade 2010



Mobile, AL Parade 2010