Friday, February 15, 2013

Am I inspired? Ask me after my workout today...

This is kind of a catch 22 for me. Am I inspired to work out? Not always, no. Do I feel better if I do? Usually, I do. These days, though, it's taking several days for the muscle soreness I feel after working out with my trainer to go away. I had every intention of going to a yoga class at my gym last night, since The Aussie and I were planning on celebrating Valentine's Day tonight, anyway. I didn't go. I was still too sore from the core workout I did on Wednesday afternoon. Heck, I'm still sore today, and I have to go back and train with him again this afternoon.  I don't feel super guilty for not going to yoga, because I did start up C25K again yesterday morning, so I got a workout in. But I did want to go to the class.  How do you deal with delayed onset muscle soreness? Do you push through it and end up even more sore or do you rest another day or two?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Laissez les bon temps rouler chicken and sausage gumbo

There are some times when you just have to step back from your food tracker and have some good old rib-sticking, tummy satisfying gumbo. Being that today is Mardi Gras, this is the perfect thing to make for dinner!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

4 cups chicken stock (this needs to be hot, so heat it up in the dutch oven while you chop veggies and brown chicken)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced
3-4 pounds of chicken pieces (legs, thighs, breast)
1 1/2 pounds fully cooked smoked sausage (andouille, keilbasa, turkey sausage, etc), sliced on diagonal in 1/2" slices
1 t salt
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t thyme
1 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
1 t dry mustard
1 t ground file
1 t Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal (optional garnish)

1. Chop up your vegetables.

2. In a small bowl, blend together the black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, dry mustard, file powder, garlic powder and salt.

Rub about 4 teaspoons of the spice mixture on the chicken pieces.

3. Combine the all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture together and coat the chicken.

4. In a large frying pan, cast iron if you have it, brown the chicken pieces over medium high heat for at least 3 minutes each side. Remove chicken and set aside, draining on paper towels if needed.
5. To the large frying pan, add the vegetable oil and heat over medium to medium high heat. Add the flour and spice mixture that was used to coat the chicken pieces. (I needed to add more flour since I'm messy when it comes to coating chicken pieces). Stir the flour and oil together to make a "roux" (aka "a smooth paste"). Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until it turns a nutty brown. DO NOT LET THE ROUX BURN.

When the roux reaches the color brown you want, add in the onion, bell peppers and celery to the roux and remove from the heat. Stir the mixture together to coat the vegetables, making sure there are no clumps.
6. In a large dutch oven, bring your stock to a boil. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the roux mixture. Slowly add the roux and vegetable mixture to the stock, stirring constantly so there are no lumps.

Add the sausage and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. (Note: I used Oscar Meyer turkey keilbasa and a Texas brand of smoked jalapeno and cheddar sausage. I think the jalapenos made it spicier than normal.)

7. Add in chicken pieces, bay leaves and hot sauce. Cook over medium low heat for at least 40 minutes, or until chicken pieces are cooked through. (I cooked over low for over an hour since I was making it in the early afternoon.)
8. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and cool. When it's cool, remove the skin from the chicken and the chicken from the bone. Cut into bite sized pieces and return chicken to the pot.
At this point, adjust your seasonings and it's ready.
Serve over hot rice and garnish with green onions.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!