Chicken Gumbo Saves the Day

Feb 15, 2010 by Kristi Rimkus

Today was one of those days. Actually, my run of bad luck started yesterday, when the glasses I desperately need to drive spontaneously broke in half. Then as I headed to my car with my broken glasses, I was confronted with a flat tire! I headed to work this morning thinking my run of bad luck had ended.

Chicken Gumbo

At lunch, my coworker had a delicious smelling Mexican Gumbo sitting on her desk. Searching the web, I found the perfect recipe to make for dinner. Armed with my recipe, and deciding I deserved a break, I skipped the gym and headed home.

There is a saying that bad luck comes in threes. I’d only used up two of my three. I had one more to go.

I should have known better than to ask my husband to pick up the groceries, because shopping is a challenge for him. He got the cat food, but forgot my recipe ingredients, so I improvised. You won’t see green bell pepper or parsley in my picture. I can be creative, so I added some Cajun Creole seasoning. That should fix it, right?

In the midst of my gumbo cooking experience, Frisco (the indoor cat) decided to escape outdoors. I had opened the door to feed a stray cat not realizing Frisco was crouched right behind me. Finding his chance to pounce, he ran out the door.

We turned off the stove, and chased our cat through the neighborhood. I live in farm county with coyotes, raccoons, and critters that my sweet house cat would not be happy to encounter. After an hour of searching, we found Frisco hiding under the neighbor’s trailer. I crawled underneath and dragged him out. My cat and I ended up soaking wet, and full of sticks and pine needles. We headed back home to finish our gumbo.

So how did my dinner turn out?

After our cat rescue adventure, this warm, spicy dish was just what I needed. Believe it or not, the chicken was tender, and the vegetables and rice cooked perfectly. It could have used the bell pepper, but the Cajun seasoning worked just fine.

Tomorrow is another day!

Warm and Spicy Cajun Chicken Gumbo

1/4 cup oil for frying
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast meat
2 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, no-salt-added
1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Creole Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 dashes hot sauce
cayenne pepper, to taste
8 oz frozen corn

Servings: Makes 6 main dish servings.

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until mixture is the color of a copper penny. Reduce heat to low and stir in bell pepper, mushroom and onion. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir together, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

What’s good for me in this dish?

Chicken is a complete protein, with less saturated fat than beef. Much of the fat is in the skin, so it is best eaten without the skin, with chicken breasts being the leanest choice. Chicken provides 67% of your daily protein needs. It also has cancer protecting B vitamins, including Niacin and B6 for energy.

Tomatoes provide a great source of vitamins C, A and K, not to mention the antioxidant and cancer preventing benefits of Lycopene.  Tomatoes support colon and prostate health, and are a good source of potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate to support a healthy heart

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 265.7
Total Fat: 10.4 g
Cholesterol: 38.3 mg
Sodium: 355.5 mg
Total Carbs: 25.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Protein: 20.0 g

Weight Watchers Points 5

Currently, Kristi Rimkus authors her own blog over at Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right.

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com.

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