Chicken and Andouille Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice

There should be no rules in cooking, leave that to the bakers.  Follow a recipe if you want, or not.  Cooking is supposed to be a creative outlet, where you make dishes with ingredients you and your family enjoy.  In my case, ingredients Ian enjoys.  He does not enjoy shrimp.  Something about some truck delivering rotten smelling shrimp around his neighborhood growing up.  He didn't grow up on Main St, USA, so this story seems feasible to me.  I don't think I'd want to eat shrimp out of the bed of some guys truck either.  Many gumbo recipes contain shrimp, but because of Ian's adverse reaction to the word, I chose to make mine with chicken and andouille sausage.  I combined the ingredients of both Creole and Cajun gumbo to make my version, I'm such a rule breaker.  Chicken, andouille, tomatoes, okra AND, wait for it...file (think fillet) powder.  I must have fallen off my rocker!  File powder is ground sassafras leaves and lends an earthy flavor to the gumbo.  Of course I include the traditional "trinity", celery, bell pepper, and onion, the cajun/creole version of the french "mirepoix" combination of carrot, celery and onion.  Okra is the thickening agent I chose since making a roux really isn't paleo possible.  I use frozen okra, I don't enjoy the slimy mess fresh makes on your cutting board, and frozen is more readily available and cheap.  Speaking of cheap, the receipt for the purchase of these ingredients has gone missing, so unfortunately, there is no dollar breakdown here.  Did I ever tell you Ian does 90% of our grocery shopping?  I don't know how I finagled that, but it's wonderful.
Note: File powder is available in specialty shops and online.  I got mine at Williams-Sonoma.  It is not a necessary ingredient here, so if you can't find it, or don't want to use it, just leave it out.  Also, my tomatoes from Muir Glen had green chilies already in the can.  If you can't find those, substitute crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne, however much your family can take.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo with Cauliflower Rice
(Print Recipe)
1 lb Chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 links Andouille sausage, (1 lb) sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 Onion, diced
3 Stalks celery, diced
1 Green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Thyme
1 Tbls File powder
1 cup Frozen okra (sliced)
1 can (14.5oz) Diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup + 1/3 cup Chicken stock
1 head Cauliflower, riced with food processor
2 Tbls Parsley, chopped
3 Green onions, sliced
Dab of coconut oil
Salt and Pepper

For Cauliflower Rice:
To a medium sauce pot, add riced cauliflower and 1/3 cup chicken stock, season with salt and pepper. Place on stove over low heat, leave lid slightly ajar, and allow to cook while you make the gumbo.  Stir in parsley before serving.
For Gumbo:
In a large pot, melt a dab of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown on all sides.  This is to caramelize the outside and keep the meat from turning gray.  Don't crowd the pan, work in batches if necessary.  Once andouille is browned remove from pan, it should not be completely cooked, and add chicken.  Once all the chicken is browned remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pot, over medium-high heat, add onions, celery, green pepper and okra.  Saute until tender.  Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes and chicken stock.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Add back chicken and sausage (with any juices) and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until gumbo reaches desired consistency.  Remove from heat and add file powder.
Ladle gumbo into soup bowl, top with a scoop of parsley rice and sliced green onions.




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