I’m guessing every blog out there is talking about how
excited they are that fall is almost upon us… if not there already.
I can truly say that I love all seasons, because there is
something special about each one. Winter
has Christmas, glistening snow, hot chocolate and old timey movies. Summer has incredible produce, vacations, my
birthday, and palettes. Both Fall and
Spring have the warmth of the sun and the chill of the morning. With Fall, you want to bake with spices,
light candles, cozy in. With Spring, you
shed your layers and search out the new blossoms.
The cyclical pattern of nature is truly perfect. It feels like when you just can’t take any
more heat, you’re given a cool breeze.
When you can’t stay inside for a minute more, you’re given those warming
rays of sun and new life to explore.
Josh is in his last year of his Master’s program, and then
we’ll be moving from Durham back to Kansas. In this last year here, I want to live
fully in every season…. Not rushing or dwelling. I want to take in all of the best of every
part of Durham. I want to show the
community that we’ve made here what they have meant to me.
And so when it comes time for a new season, maybe…. Just
maybe… I’ll be ready.
For right now though, friends, let’s share a meal.
Adapted from William Sonoma: Essentials of Slow Cooking
4 chicken leg quarters, segmented (I didn’t do this
originally, but think it would be easier to work with)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus 1/3 cup
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 red sweet pepper (or red bell peppers), seeded and chopped
4 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup GF All Purpose flour (or regular AP flour)
3 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
¾ lb hot Italian sausage, cut into ½ inch rounds
1 lb okra, sliced into ½ inch rounds
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Over medium-high
heat, melt butter in a large Dutch oven with the 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add
the chicken and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, turning frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery to
the Dutch oven and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté a minute longer. Add the can of stewed tomatoes, and give it a
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1/3 cup
canola oil and flour. Whisking frequently, cook until the mixture turns light
brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broth, raise the heat to high, bring to a
boil, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened 5 minutes.
Stove Top: Stir the
broth mixture into the softened vegetables. Add the sausage and the browned
chicken and submerge into the broth and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then lower cover and lower
to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, the
chicken will be opaque and the sausage is cooked through. With a ladle, skim off
as much fat as possible. Stir in the
okra and cayenne pepper. Cook for another
10 minutes longer.
Slow Cooker: Add the broth, softened vegetables, sausage and
chicken to the slow cooker. Cover and
cook until the chicken is opaque and the sausage is cooked through, 2 ½ – 3 ½
hours on High or 5 ½ – 7 ½ hours on Low. With a ladle, skim off as much fat as
possible. Stir in the okra and cayenne
pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes longer.