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.

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo

Makes 4-6 servings


1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

4 skinned bone-in chicken breasts

Vegetable oil

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.

Here's the progression of the roux from blond to chocolate.

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.

Andouille sausage

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.


Elyse said...

This gumbo looks delicious! My mom went to school in New Orleans and has a major love for anything Creole-esque. She adores gumbo, and it was one of my favorite dishes growing up. I've only tried to make it once, and I really didn't like the flavor. Since then, I've been searching for a tried and true recipe. And then, today, you posted this fabulous recipe, and I just can't wait to try it! Your gumbo looks absolutely fabulous. The roux totally seems worth the time it takes to make!! Can you get file powder at the regular grocery store? I hadn't heard of this ingredient before, but it sounds fascinating!

J.Danger said...

Creole cooking is one of my favorites! I can't get enough of it!

♥Rosie♥ said...

This gumbo looks absolutely delicious! Creole cooking is something I want to try my hand at more.

Rosie x

Half Baked said...

Thanks Elyse for the nice comment. I couldn't find the file here in my grocery store but I live in a relatively small city and maybe there's not enough demand. I'd like to give it a try as well. I guess I'll have to order it sometime!

Grace said...

so often, gumbo is fouled up for me by shrimp and crawfish, neither of which i like. that said, your version here looks and sounds phenomenal--nicely done!

Loulou said...

Fantastic looking Gumbo! I agree, the final dish is so worth the long cooking time.

Joanne said...

The gumbo looks fantastic. I wonder if it would work out well with vegetarian sausage? Have to try that. Yum!

Donna said...

Hello from Texas! This has been a Staple in our family for the last 36 years! It's wonderful!
Happy day to you! Nice blog!