Chicken and smoked sausage gumbo

Go-to gumbo delivers hearty Fat Tuesday

Originally appeared in the February 16, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

This upcoming Tuesday is of the “fat” variety.  Next week is Mardi Gras, and what better way to celebrate than stewing up a batch of that gastronomic delicacy know as gumbo.

As with many dishes in the canon of Cajun cuisine, there are two fundamental components with gumbo:  1) trinity and 2) roux.  Popularized by native Louisianan chef Paul Prudhomme, the trinity—or “holy” trinity—is a riff on the French mixture known as mirepoix, an aromatic trio of onion, celery, and carrot; but here, the Creole variation replaces carrot with bell pepper.  More after the jump:The second element to keep an eye on is the roux.  Pronounced “roo,” this is the backbone of gumbo and the thing that can make or break your recipe.  Roux is equal parts (by weight) of flour and liquid fat used to thicken soups and sauces (if you’ve ever added flour to rendered bacon fat, you’ve made roux), and there are typically three types: white, blond, and brown.  For gumbo, you’ll be concentrating on the latter.  A culinary caveat: though it gains a characteristically nutty aroma, as roux cooks and darkens it looses thickening potency.  No worries—most gumbos call for file powder, yet another hallmark to this traditional dish.  As they say in the “Big Easy,” let the good times roll, my friends.

Chicken and smoked sausage gumbo

Serves 6 – 8

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken meat, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped bell peppers
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 quarts chicken stock (warm)
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons file powder
  • 2 pounds smoked andouille sausage (or kielbasa), cut into bite-sized medallions
  • 4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • For service:  6 cups cooked white rice

1.  Rub Cajun seasoning over chicken meat.  In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepot or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat; cook chicken until firm; afterwards, sauté trinity until onions are softened and translucent.  Remove meat and vegetable from pan and set aside.  Lower heat, and add 2 cups oil to pot, followed by flour.  Cook this roux slowly until the paste is dark brown in color (please make sure you don’t burn this).

2.  When you have achieved a brown roux, return chicken and trinity to pot, and slowly pour in the warm chicken stock.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper; add cayenne and bay leaves.  Allow gumbo to simmer until reduced and slightly thickened.  Add file powder and adjust consistency.

3.  When gumbo has become thick, add sausage; wait until sausage is warmed through before adding the parsley.  At service, pour rice into bowls and ladle gumbo over rice; garnish with green onion.

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. thanks!

    • Anytime! Thanks for stopping by.

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