Yesterday I took my mother to Verizon and I noticed that next door there was a Harold’s.(Chicken Shack) I couldn’t believe my eyes! So you know I went in there to make sure it was what it said it was. And to my culture-starved eyes appeared my people, my smells, and my food! Hallelujah I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The first thing out of my mouth was “I’m home” and the girl behind the counter smiled at me with understanding.
You know I don’t even eat fried food or French fries(the mortal enemy) but I was not about to pass up my blessing. I spent $33.00, every penny more than worth it!
God is Good.
As you can tell I really embrace my Chicago culture. I forgot to mention that I have a special relationship with Harold’s Chicken. When I was nineteen my cousin and I went to a wedding reception where they had a champagne fountain and we got drunker than Cootie Brown. We proceeded to leave the reception wearing mini dresses (1969) into a cold Chicago evening.
We were so cold we attempted to flag a cab which never appeared but a Harold’s chicken delivery car stopped and we jumped in. Wel,l we were so cold we stepped all over the man’s deliveries in our haste to get warm. Needless to say that man couldn’t wait to get us out the car!
Harold’s Delivery Man wherever you are ……Thank You
Indria lived in La Place Louisiana many years and has prepared gumbo for friends and family in Chicago and elsewhere.
2 Tbsn Olive oil
1 large Onion
1 large Green pepper
2 stalks Celery
2 cloves Garlic
1 Chicken (boneless, skinless)
1 link Smoked sausage ( beef or turkey)
1 lb. Shrimp (frozen, deveined & shelled)
2 cups Okra
2 Tbspn Cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)
4 Teaspons File’ powder
Salt (add to your bowl individually)
Boil a large pot of water (fill pot half way to leave room for ingredients). Add chopped seasonings to boiled water, sausage, and chicken. Bring to boil and then let simmer.
In a separate pot add oil and okra and let cook on low until most of the slime cooks out. You can add to pot later. The shrimp is the last ingredient you add. The gumbo should be basically cooked before adding the shrimp.
In a cold skillet add oil then flour and stir until smooth. Turn on medium heat and brown until darker without burning. Add to gumbo pot. Add file’ to pot and individual bowls.
Make sure the gumbo is completely cooled before refrigerating if seafood is used. To hurry that process place containers in sink with cold water and ice.
Indria Perrilloux is a native of Chicago but currently lives in Louisiana. She is a wife, grandmother, and a professional counselor. She is also the mother of two sons, including the Grammy nominated producer, Anthony Khan/The Twilite Tone.