Bring the spirit of the Big Easy to your kitchen this Mardi Gras (February 17) with these Bayou-inspired recipes that honor one of the most exciting celebrations of the year.
Andouille Sausage and Chicken Gumbo by Mike Isabella
1 whole chicken
1 Andouille sausage, cut into bite size pieces (approximately 3 cups)
1 cup bacon, diced
1 cup Flour
½ cup butter
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup okra, washed and sliced ¼ inch
2 cups onion, small dice
1 cup celery, small dice
1 cup green bell pepper, small dice
½ cup Fresno chilies, small dice
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 bunch of parsley, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 quart whole canned tomatoes
2 quarts chicken stock
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 cup Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper and roast for 18 minutes (or until a thermometer reads 160 internal degrees). Pull the chicken out of the oven and allow to cool completely. Once the chicken is cooled, shred the meat and dice the chicken skin, reserve the bones for stock.
In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon and add the Andouille sausage to the pan and cook until brown on both sides.
After removing the sausage, add the butter to the pan and melt. Once the butter is melted, reduce the heat and whisk in flour to create a roux. Make sure to continuously stir the mixture and cook for approximately 10 minutes until it is a chestnut brown color.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, green bell pepper, Fresno chilies, and garlic. Allow the vegetables to sweat until they are translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieces as they cook.
Next, add the shredded chicken and minced skin, along with the bacon, Andouille sausage, chicken stock, and the roux. Simmer on medium-low heat for 90 minutes, stirring often to make sure the roux does not stick to the bottom. Add the Worcestershire sauce and okra and season to taste.
Serve the dish topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt and a few of the diced green onions.
Crawfish and Sausage Jambalaya by Emeril Lagasse
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
½ cup chopped celery
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 bay leaves
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 lb. peeled crawfish tails
2 cups long-grain riche
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup chopped green onions or scallions (green part only)
In a large Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, then season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring throughout, until they are wilted (about 5 minutes). Add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes.
Next, add the bay leaves, tomatoes, garlic, and crawfish and stir everything together while cooking for 2 more minutes. Finally, stir in the rice and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the broth and bringing to a boil.
Reduce to medium-low heat, cover, and cook until the riche is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed (about 25-30 minutes).
Stir in the green onions, remove the bay leaves, and serve while hot.
Mode Zulu Galette de Rois by Claire Thomas
Chocolate Almond Cream Filling
1 cup ground almond meal (almond flour)
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
3 egg yolks
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. dark rum
3 ½ oz. dark chocolate, melted over a double boiler and cooled
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the almond meal, sugar, and salt on low speed. Add the butter and mix until it’s completely incorporated. Stir in the yolks one at a time, along with the vanilla extract, rum, melted chocolate, and coconut. It’s okay if the mixture looks a little lumpy. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
1 17-oz. package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 batch homemade chocolate coconut almond cream filling
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry until it’s wide enough to cut out a 10-inch circle. Using a dinner plate or cake plan as a template, trim the dough into a circle. Place the dough on the baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap while you do the same with the second sheet of puff pastry. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once both the filling and dough have been chilled, remove them from the refrigerator. Remove the top circle of dough and plastic wrap from the baking sheet so that there is only one circle of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the chocolate coconut almond filling over the center of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border. Place a plastic baby figurine (or a pecan or piece of dried fruit) somewhere in the almond filling to act as the prize of the cake.
Brush water around the exposed edge of the dough then place the other circle of dough on top of the galette and press down to seal the edges very well. Chill again for 30 minutes to make the decoration easier. Once chilled, flute the sides of the dough by pinching the dough around your finger and use a pairing knife to create a houndstooth design on top.
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. milk
Glittery sanding sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top of the cake (avoid getting the glaze on the sides so it will rise evenly). Sprinkle the cake with a variety of glittery sanding sugar to give it that Mardi Gras flare.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until the galette is golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and slide the galette off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. Don’t worry if it deflates a bit, it’s supposed to do that.
Serve warm or at room temperature with heaping schools of vanilla ice cream. To make it more fun, come up with a prize or special privilege for whoever gets the slice with the baby figurine inside!