Years ago, I visited a friend on Christmas Eve night since I was not returning to my family gathering in Virginia over the holidays. My friend served “Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.” How interesting, I mused, to serve a simple soup on this special occasion. Since that dinner, I have eaten gumbo at other Christmas Eve night celebrations. And I have learned that gumbo holds a very reverend traditional place in Cajun and Creole families on Christmas Eve. I am attempting to reproduce my friend’s gumbo — a deep colored, flavorful soup with chicken and sausage. It was, by far, one of the best gumbos that I have ever eaten.
Winter is a good time to get out the crock pot and slow-cook a meal. Pulled pork for sandwiches is especially suited to this kind of cooking. The key is to use a cut of meat, boneless pork butt roast, that has a lot of flavor to begin with. The moist heat and long cooking time tenderizes the pork, intensifies the flavor and the end result is that the pork just literally pulls apart. For this recipe, I added some Cajun-inspired spices to heat things up.