What’s For Dinner?
Easy Chicken Gumbo
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
5:30 Challenge / 5 ingredients / 30 minutes
I always welcome repeat contributors to the “5:30 Challenge.”
One reader who certainly knows his way around the kitchen is Andrew Lyons of Atlanta, who has provided the “5:30 Challenge” with some of its best reader recipes over the years.
He sends in a version of gumbo that he perfected after a couple of attempts. His secret ingredient is a bag of Publix frozen gumbo mix that has okra, red peppers, onions and corn. He writes: “I generally try to use fresh ingredients, but the quality of this frozen mix was very good and really convenient.”
I agree. It had good flavor and texture. I noticed that the package suggested adding stewed tomatoes. As Lyons did, I gave this recipe a couple of tries, once using chicken broth as Lyons recommends and again using stewed flavored tomatoes. Lyons’ version provided a lightly seasoned meal, but I also liked it with the tomatoes, which I thought added a more gumbolike flavor.
Lyons advises placing the chicken on top of the gumbo, instead of adding it back to the mixture, to keep a crisper crust, and I agree. -- Jeanne Besser
Hands on time: Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock, divided, or 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes (with onions, celery and green peppers)
1 (16-ounce) bag Publix or other frozen gumbo vegetable mix
In a skillet, melt butter. Leaving the chicken generously floured, brown the chicken for about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add 1/2 cup broth or the tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a boil, deglazing the pan and allowing leftover flour to thicken the mixture. Add the vegetables and remaining stock, if using, and simmer gently until slightly thickened and heated through. Spoon vegetables into warm bowls and top with chicken.