Home Cookin’

Creamy, Hearty, GUMBO

It’s the start of May and for the last several weeks we have been getting hammered with rain. It’s a typical season of rainy weather before Oklahoma’s scorching hot summer arrives. Although I am a bit tired of these dreary days, I know I’ll be wanting more rain in the middle of July!


So to make the most of days like this, I like to break out one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s a stick to your ribs kind of food, filling the house with it’s rich smell.  I don’t make this a lot, frankly because it takes a lot more time. It’s one of those meals I have to plan for, or be stuck in the house to make. Which is why it’s so great for rainy days. However, once I know I’m going to make it I can’t wait for it to be done to eat it.

Gumbo….oh how I love you!

This recipe has been adapted from several other recipes I have tried and just didn’t have the flavor I wanted. I’m not sure how true authentic Gumbo is suppose to taste, but I know how want it to taste. Rich, creamy, hearty, and has you full after one bowl.

I’m guessing here….but I would say all together it takes between 1 and 2 hours to make this. That includes the prep work also, so if you have some time and your wanting to make an amazing meal for your family, this should seriously be on your radar!


  • 2 lbs Chicken
  • 1 lb or less smoked sausage
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Bell Pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 lb okra
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup bacon fat
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive/vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • cajun creole
  • Gumbo File
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4- 1 cup flour
  • rice

I like to start off by getting everything I need out.


Then begin with your chicken, cut it into bite size pieces and season it with creole. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Put flour, salt, pepper, creole and garlic powder in a bag and mix.


While your chicken is resting cut up all your veggies and sausage.


Now that you have everything prepared are you ready to jump in?

In a large stock pot cook your bacon. I have a small jar of bacon grease at all times but this is always a good excuse to cook bacon!


Remove cooked bacon and add in your oil. Place your chicken in the bag of flour and shake to coat. Cook your chicken until it’s done. Nice and juicy!


Remove your chicken and add your remaining flour mixture to the oil. On VERY low heat stir thoroughly. Simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Or if your me just stare at it and stir every 2 minutes.


This is the MOST important part to making this gumbo the best! Do NOT SCORCH!! The longer this process takes the better to avoid scorching. The end goal is for your roux to be a smooth paste several shades darker than peanut butter.


Once you have your roux JUST right (smooth and dark) add peppers, onion, garlic, celery and sausage.  Turn your heat up a little and coat everything with the roux and stir until veggies are wilted and onions translucent.


Add in your bay leaf. Slowly pour in the stock and water, stirring well to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil.


Add in your chicken and stir. At this point you can let it cook for a while to really soak in your flavors. Then 10-20 minutes before your ready to eat put in your okra and thyme. My okra was frozen so I just wanted it to be hot and still hold it’s form. I don’t like mushy okra in my gumbo. Now you can sprinkle in the Gumbo File and stir well. It’s also great to sprinkle a little in your bowl right before eating it. Just make sure it’s mixed in well.


I start my rice when I put in the okra so I know everything will be ready at the same time. Right before serving remove the bay leaf and enjoy! This is also great the next day warmed up! After all the cooking I was so ready to eat it I forgot to get the finished picture over the rice! I can promise you though it was amazing!

– The Clucky Hen

The Best Homemade Salsa

Who doesn’t like chips and salsa?? Here is my all time favorite go to for salsa. It’s great to just dip a chip in and eat, or cook with! I love putting salsa in things to give it more flavor. So no more time wasted talking, lets make it!!

What You’ll Need

  • 3-5 Tomatoes
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 Jalapeño (seeded)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Cilantro 1/2 cup fresh or 2 tsp
  • 1-2 tsp Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Get all of your ingredients together and maybe a helper to push buttons. I always have a button pusher close by to help! I mean who can resist that smile?


Now Just throw all of your ingredients in the blender and blend to desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky so I don’t blend for too long.


Now have your helper push your button to create the best salsa ever!


And done! Now, the hardest part of all is the clean up. Where’s a clean up helper when I need one?

This will keep for up to 7 days refrigerated. You can also easily cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch! These were store bought tomatoes, fresh from the garden tomatoes make this a lot deeper red and richer taste. Boy am I ready for my garden!

Note: Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before eating, it allows the flavors to soak in and will taste a lot better!



– The Clucky Hen

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

At our house, as many others, we LOVE pizza. The ooey gooey cheese, the sizzle of sausage and pepperoni, the beautiful browned crisp crust! Yum! Although this is on my normal rotation for dinner, we do get tired of the same kind of pizza. So, I want to share my newest favorite, and easiest pizza to make!

The crust I make is light and fluffy and has a wonderful taste, and most importantly it’s SUPER easy to make and whip out quick, and I like quick! I have to give props to my sister who had the original recipe, and I haven’t changed it any than to add a small touch of my own.

Clumsy me, I forgot to get a picture while making the dough. My in-laws were over and my 3 kids were running wild as I hurried to get supper on the table. So please forgive me for no pictures on the crust!

Pizza Dough Recipe

2 ½ cups flour

2 packets active dry yeast – or 4 ½ tsp yeast

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 cup very warm water

1 tsp garlic salt

Mix yeast, sugar and water. Add flour and form your dough. It may be a little sticky but that’s ok! Lather your hands with oil and roll the dough around until you make a ball. It should be good and shiny covered in oil. Cover your bowl with a towel and let it set for about 10 minutes. Spray your pizza pan with oil and dump the dough in the middle. With oily hands press the dough out until it’s in your desired pizza shape. You can fold the ends up for more of a crust or leave it flat for a thinner crust. Sprinkle the edge of the pizza (crust) with the garlic salt.

Now for the best part, the toppings!

1 Breast of chicken-cut up in bite size pieces

2 tablespoons of butter

seasoning salt and pepper

4-5 strips of bacon, diced

1/2 cup or more to taste of ranch dressing

2 cups of mozzarella cheese

Cook bacon and set aside on paper towel to cool. In a clean skillet melt butter over medium heat, I also like to add a little bacon grease but you don’t have to.


Put in all of the chicken and season with Lawry’s or any type of season salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes then flip and cook 2-3 minutes more until it’s no longer pink. Turn off heat and set aside.


Once your dough is prepared, drizzle on your ranch and spread out with a spoon. Sprinkle on  your cheese, bacon and chicken. Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes until your crust is brown and cheese is all melted and bubbly. Cut and serve!


Beefy, Cheesy Enchilada’s

I LOVE Mexican food, any kind, anywhere, any time of day! When I was pregnant with our oldest son we ate Mexican food at least 5 times a week. The chips, salsa, guacamole, and all the cheesy goodness, my mouth is watering! I’m so very thankful that my kids love it as much as I do! So, you can probably understand that we have some sort of Mexican style dish at least once a week. One of my favorites is Enchilada’s. After fixing it over and over I got tired of the packet mix and wanted to make it one day without a mix. I scoured the internet for an easy enchilada sauce but I didn’t have all the ingredients. So I came up with one of my own and it turned out a huge hit with the kids and the hubby! My favorite part of Mexican food is guacamole, so I’ve included my easy peasy Guacamole Recipe at the bottom!

Also, as a side note there is lots of yummy, gooey Velveeta used in this recipe. I have no idea the calorie count, so please don’t burst my bubble by asking me.

Beefy Cheesy Enchilada’s

1 lb Hamburger
Flour or corn tortillas
2-3 oz Velveeta
Salt & Pepper to taste
Enchilada Sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 can tomato sauce 8 oz
1 can chicken broth 14oz
1/2 can Rotel
1/4 cup or less flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper
2 oz Velveeta

Pre-heat oven to 350º. Season hamburger with salt and pepper, brown and drain.
While hamburger is cooking start enchilada sauce. Heat olive oil over medium heat,
add tomato sauce and all seasonings.

Once it starts boiling a little add your flour and whisk briskly to keep from clumping.


Keep whisking until thick and smooth. Add chicken broth and continue whisking until boiling again.


Once it’s good and smooth add 2 oz Velveeta (optional). I also at this point add some juice and about 1/2 can rotel.


Heat through until cheese is completely melted, and is oh so yummy!! I let it boil again to thicken a little more and then turn heat off.


Now focus on your hamburger meat. I add 2 oz (more or less to your taste) of Velveeta, a little rotel.  You can also add enchilada sauce to your hamburger mixture.


Cook on low/medium heat until cheese is melted and mixed well.


I usually pour a little sauce in the bottom of my dish.


At this point you can turn your heat off and begin assembly. I use half flour tortillas and half corn because my family likes both. Scoop your hamburger mixture in each tortilla and roll up. You can sprinkle cheese on top also if you like. If I have any hamburger left I sprinkle it on top also.

*Make sure if your using corn, to warm them in the microwave with wet paper towels between each tortilla before filling.


Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted on top. Make sure you make plenty because they’ll go fast!



While your Enchiladas are baking you can make the guacamole, yessss finally!

Easy Peasy Guacamole
1-2 Avacados
Garlic Salt
Seasoning Salt
1-2 tsp Rotel (optional)
1-2 drops lemon juice


Look at these beauty’s, almost too pretty to eat, I said ALMOST. They were devoured quickly!


Add seasonings and lemon juice.


Mash until smooth and add rotel (optional). I usually taste it and add more salt/pepper if needed.


And your done! Dip that chip, fork, spoon or finger in and enjoy!!

e15 recipe