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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo inspired by That Would Be Me

I participated in the That Would Be Me album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.
Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
It's been a while since I've brought you some music-inspired eats, so I'm pretty excited to share this Harry Connick Jr. inspired gumbo with you today! Recently I was offered the chance to preview Harry's new album That Would Be Me (which is officially released tomorrow!). I'm a longtime fan of HCJ...I mean—come on! He's a singer, musician, actor, performer, composer, arranger, songwriter, bandleader, judge...and he's just as easy on the eyes as he is the ears.

The overall vibe of this album is mellow and easy to listen to, but I love that there are bits of jazz, soul, funk, and gospel interwoven throughout. I probably listened to the entire album 10 to 15 times over the last 5 or 6 days. At first it was with focus on the lyrics and song titles, but after a while it became the perfect backdrop to cooking, cleaning, writing, and doing the dishes. Like I said, it's mellow, but I also found myself shakin' my bum and bopping my head as I worked.
Harry Connick Jr - That Would Be Me Album Cover
The top three songs for me on this album are listed below, with the reasons I like them.

     1. (I Do) Like We Do - classic head-bopping, body-moving "you + me" song (aka a love song in a perfectly wonderful sappy-yet-not-sappy fashion). Loving that's it's jazzy with some horns.

     2. (I Like It When You) Smile - upbeat, happy, jazzy, hand clapping, and a little HCJ scat-rap! It just makes you want to move.

     3. Right Where It Hurts - a little more N'awlins jazz feel than anything else on the album, again with horns and some gospel-style vocals and hand clapping.

If I had to pick a number 4, it would be Where Prisoners Drown - it feels a bit like "revival" music.

And while it didn't make my top 4, I totally found myself singing Songwriter as I brushed my teeth last night. And as I ran some errands in the car earlier today. It's got an extremely catchy rhyming chorus (I wanna be a song writer, I wanna be a wrong righter, I wanna take an all-nighter...), so it was basically inevitable.

1. (I Like It When You) Smile
2. (I Do) Like We Do
3. Tryin’ To Matter
4. Songwriter
5. Do You Really Need Her
6. You Don’t Need A Man
7. You Have No Idea
8. Where Prisoners Drown
9. (I Think I) Love You A Little Bit
10. Every Time I Fall In Love
11. Right Where It Hurts
Harry Connick Jr in studio
Can't get enough Harry? 

Visit the official Harry Connick Jr website or find him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date.

Order That Would Be Me now from iTunes or Amazon!

Food and Drink to enhance your listening experience - since Harry Connick Jr. exudes N'awlins flair, I knew my recommendations would have to be classic:

There wasn't much talk of food or drink in the songs, but he does mention beer once and wine twice, so in honor of the wine mentions, I added a little wino twist to an otherwise classic gumbo...and it worked nicely. Lingering over a bowl of this with a New Orleans Gin Fizz in your hand and this album coming from the speakers is a delicious way to spend an hour or so.

Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
This rich Louisiana-style stew is loaded with chicken, sausage, and shrimp served over rice.
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Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 - 120 minutes
Keywords: simmer entree soup/stew chicken sausage shrimp American

Ingredients (3 quarts)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups white wine (or more chicken stock)
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, chopped into 1" chunks
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled, tailed, and deveined
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • cooked white rice, to serve
Melt butter in a 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, one-third at a time, until each third is incorporated into the butter. Continue to cook the roux, stirring often, until it has turned a deep, rich brown, 45 to 60 minutes.

Add bell peppers, onions, celery, and garlic and stir constantly for 1 minutes. Slowly pour in the stock and wine, stirring as you go to prevent lumps. Add everything else to the pot except the shrimp hot sauce, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp and simmer until it just turns pink, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning with hot sauce or more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over hot rice.

-inspired by and adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme's Gumbo Ya-Ya (as served in Mr. B's Bistro in the French Quarter) via New Orleans Official Guide 
Chicken, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo