Friday, March 6, 2009
Chicken and sausage gumbo
Although I love the flavors of Louisianan style cooking, I have very little experience cooking cajun/creole dishes. Since some of Hubs favorite dishes come from this region, I thought I'd give making gumbo a try. The most important and time consuming part of making gumbo is making the roux. When I first read the recipe I saw that it said 20-25 minutes stirring contently. I didn't really think it would take that long but yeah it really does. Oh and don't think you can stop stirring. Do that and you'll end up with burn roux and have to start all over! Don't let making a roux scare you into not making gumbo. It's not difficult, just time consuming, but so worth it in flavor.
Another important component of gumbo is the vegetable base known as the Holy Trinity. Onions, bell peppers, and celery. These three vegetables are the base of most dishes in Cajun style cooking, much like the French use mire poix (onions, celery and carrot).
Many gumbos include okra, which is not my favorite vegetable. I was drawn to this recipe because it didn't include okra.
File (pronounced fee-lay) is the traditional table garnish for gumbo's. It is add to the gumbo after it's finished cooking to thicken the gumbo. Never add file to the gumbo while it's cooking, or you'll end up with a thick stringy mess. I opted not to add the file to mine so my gumbo was thinner, more soup-like, but really delicious.
Makes 4-6 servings
PREP: 55 MIN., COOK: 3 HRS.
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 skinned bone-in chicken breasts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped ½ green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 quarts hot water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
4 green onions, sliced
Filé powder (optional)
Hot cooked rice
Garnish: chopped green onions
COOK sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until browned. Drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Set sausage aside.
COOK chicken in reserved drippings in Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned. Remove to paper towels, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Set chicken aside.
ADD enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to measure ½ cup. Add flour, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 to 25 minutes, or until roux is chocolate colored.
Stir in onion, bell pepper, and (the Holy Trinity of Louisiana cooking); cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until tender. Gradually add 2 quarts hot water, and bring mixture to a boil; add chicken, garlic, and next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Remove chicken; let cool.
Add sausage to gumbo; cook 30 minutes. Stir in green onions; cook for 30 more minutes.
Bone chicken, and cut meat into strips; return chicken to gumbo, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Remove gumbo from heat. Sprinkle with filé powder, if desired. Serve over hot cooked rice. Garnish, if desired.