Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and SausageCourtesy of Ed Hoffmann

This recipe can easily be increased – just keep ingredients in proportion. The quantities in a good gumbo are always somewhat fluid and depend on your tastes and experience.

1/2 cup oil or fat (not olive or canola – I made a roux with canola once and totally screwed up my gumbo – it didn’t dissolve in the stock. Olive oil has too low a smoking point))
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp flour

1 large onion – diced
1 bell pepper – seeded and diced
2 stalks celery diced

1 large bay leaf
Several sprigs flat leaf parsley – chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 tsp Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chacherie’s) or more to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – or more to taste (you can always add more later)
2-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1+ lb package andouille (Cajun sausage) or good quality kielbasa – halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 20 oz. package frozen sliced okra
Reserved chicken from making stock
File powder
1-1/2 cups chopped green onion tops
About 8 cups cooked white rice
Tabasco Sauce

Chop vegetables, set aside.

In a large, heavy pot (at least 6 qt.), make a roux with the flour and oil according to the directions. You’ll want it to be about the color of a chestnut (dark reddish brown). When you have achieved that color, IMMEDIATELY add the chopped vegetables and mix thoroughly. Reduce heat and cook vegetable mixture till well wilted – 10 minutes or so – stir frequently.

Add stock, sausage, and seasonings, bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

Add okra, bring back to a boil then simmer another 30 minutes or so, till the okra has lost it’s stickiness and thickened the soup.

Add reserved chicken and heat thoroughly. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Spread 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked rice in each bowl. Dust rice with about 1/4 tsp file powder and ladle gumbo on top. Garnish with generous sprinkle of green onion tops and serve.

Have the bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table to warm the gumbo up to taste.

Great with hot crusty bread!

This recipe will serve 8 normal appetites.

If you just can’t stand okra, omit it and add about 1 Tbsp file powder to the gumbo at the end – when you adjust the seasonings. Stir it in as a thickener. If the gumbo is then reheated, don’t boil it or the file will cause it to get ropy – warm it gently.