Chicken and Pork Gumbo

Chicken and Pork Gumbo

Chicken, pork and lardons simmering in stock
It's been almost a month since I last made a soup from The Soup Book. It's a bank holiday weekend here in Dublin and the older offspring is home, so I thought I'd make a meaty soup for his delectation. Chicken and pork gumbo would be the very thing, I thought. The recipe is by Carolyn Humphries, whose Cuban black bean soup I made in March. The ingredients include chicken leg and thigh portions (Carolyn suggests substituting duck), smoked lardons or pancetta, belly pork, chicken stock, a bay leaf, red peppers, onion, garlic, celery, beefsteak tomatoes, green beans, okra, thyme, paprika (two types - sweet and smoked), Tabasco sauce and cooked rice.

Vegetables simmering in stock
The spouse kindly went shopping and bought most of the ingredients. All we needed was the okra (or ladies' fingers as I called them when I was growing up). We were going into town to take part in the Dublin Zombie Walk (in aid of Barnardo's and the Irish Cancer Society), so thought we'd find okra easily enough. Our first task in town was to be made up (by a newly qualified make-up artist). From the make-up "studio" we headed around to Wexford Street in search of okra. No luck there and then it was time to join the undead assembling at St Stephen's Green. There were some very gruesome zombies there. We stumbled around the east and north sides of the Green, then down Dawson Street, around the corner on to Nassau Street, heading towards Suffolk Street. From Suffolk Street we dragged our remaining limbs on to College Green, past the former House of Lords, down Westmoreland Street and on to Aston Quay. Just after the Ha'penny Bridge, the spouse and I broke ranks and headed into Temple Bar. A startled vegetable stall holder did not have okra, so we made our way up South Great George's Street. An Asian market just off that street had okra and no one batted an eyelid as we zombies did our shopping.

Chicken and pork gumbo
Back at home we had a rest and then it was time to cook the gumbo. There was the usual washing, peeling and chopping. I simmered the chicken, lardons and pork belly in the stock for about an hour. In the meantime I prepared the vegetables and did that thing where you blacken peppers, cool them in a plastic bag and take the charred skin off. When the meat was cooked, I strained off the stock and then got on with cooking the vegetables in the stock. Eventually I added the meat and the meal was ready. I dished up the rice that the spouse had cooked for me and ladled on the gumbo. We sat down and ate. Everyone enjoyed it very much. I can't repeat the older offspring's actual compliment, but he did anticipate that he would re-appear in this blog! The estimated cooking time was one and a half hours. As expected, I took far longer than that.

And finally, thanks to Millie for this link to l'Institut pour la Protection pour la Sante Naturelle.

Minnie


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