Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Before making this myself, I had never had gumbo, not even when I was in New Orleans. I have always wanted to try it, but never really thought about making it myself until I saw it here on Elly's blog. I immediately put it on my list of things to make. Although I'm just blogging about it now, I made it back in late March.

One ingredient in the recipe I wasn't familiar with was the file (fee-lay) powder. Turns out that it is a thickening agent, but also adds flavor. I'm not sure what kind of flavor, however, because I forgot to buy it. But I do know that the local specialty bulk foods store carries it so I will get it next time I make it to see what it adds to the recipe (although I don't know what the file powder would have added, I do need to note that I didn't feel the recipe was missing anything).

This is definitely something to make when you have a few hours to kill, and when you want leftovers for a few days. It made a lot, but that was fine with me, and with my parents who got a big container of them.

One other note, and something that Elly mentions in her post, too - prep your chopped veggies ahead of time. Although you don't use the veggies until you are about 45 minutes into the recipe, you won't have time to do any prep once you start as the creation of the roux takes constant attention. And one more thing - I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. Here is my adaptation of the recipe.

  • 1 tbsp and 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 lb smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces; I used chorizo
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp Emeril's Creole Essence Seasoning; I probably used a bit more (didn't measure, just seasoned liberally!)
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 ea chopped red and green bell peppers
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 9 c chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Season the chicken with the Essence seasoning. Add to the pot and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the chicken, cool, and store in the fridge til later.
  • Here comes the long part - making the roux. Add the 1/2 oil and flour to the pot over medium heat. Stir slowly and constantly until a dark brown roux that looks chocolaty in color is formed. This will take 20-25 minutes.
  • Add the yellow onion, celery, and bell peppers and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the cooked sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring, until well combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Add the chicken to the pot and simmer for 1.5 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface (since I used chicken breasts, I didn't really have any fat to skim).
  • Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the chicken using a slotted spoon. Shred the meat, then add it back to the pot along with the green onions and parsley.
I served the gumbo over rice. Optional: hot sauce.

Doesn't this look delicious?? I can't wait until next fall so I can make this again. LOVED it.

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