Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

If you are from the Southern Part of the United States, you undoubtedly know that gumbo is the ultimate comfort food, and a sure sign that the crisp Autumn weather has graced us at long last with a breath of cool air.  Autumn means football, beautiful leaves, marshmallows and hot dogs roasting out on the back deck with the kids... and gumbo with friends!

  • 2/3 c  vegetable oil 
  • 1 c  flour 
  • medium yellow onions, chopped 
  • smoked sausage links (approx 12 -16 inches long), sliced on a bias 
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic 
  • 1 whole chicken (Fryer in a pinch, Hen if you’ve got lots of time) 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pepper to taste 
  • Garlic powder (if not using garlic cloves) to taste 
  • Ground, dried thyme to taste 
  • 2-3 celery stalks chopped 
  • ¼ c to ½ c of bell peppers 
  • fresh green onions 
  • gumbo file’
Method:
I highly recommend having all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go before you begin.  Once you start the roux, you can NOT leave it or stop stirring it.  
All of my roux seasonings chopped and ready to go in!
The best smoked pork sausage you can find, cut into coins.

For the Chicken
Cover bone-on chicken pieces in a large stockpot with cold water. Bring to a boil, and reduce down until the chicken is fork tender.  When the chicken gets tender, debone the chicken.  You can either toss all the skin and bones (if you are in a hurry), or replace them in the stock pot to enrich the stock.  If you do this, let them boil another 15 minutes or so to get a richer stock.  Then you can strain them or fish them out with a spider/slotted spoon.

I don't really like to put my chicken meat back in just yet because it can both over cook the chicken and make it shred... and I prefer my meat to be in larger pieces.   
A whole cut up chicken, covered in water or chicken broth, plus salt, pepper, thyme.
The deboned chicken.
For the Roux
PreHeat cast iron skillet. 
Add 2/3 c of oil to skillet.  Heat the oil for a while.  Add approx 1c of flour.
Stir constantly.

When roux starts to really brown, lower heat to med.
When roux is a dark chocolate or close to color of skillet, add chopped vegetables and sausage.  (It should be the color of the Nutella chocolate, hazelnut spread.)   It might be necessary to increase the heat when the vegetables are added.  They will bring down the temperature of the roux immediately when you add them.  Cook down several minutes more until veggies are wilted and soft.   Be careful, the preservatives in the sausage might cause the roux to stick and burn.
Once the stock has come to the desired state of richness and the bones have been removed, add the roux to the stock pot.

Continue the roux in the stock at a hard boil.  Correct the seasonings.


Add the chicken to the gumbo and let it simmer for a while for all of the flavors to marry. This part really takes a while.  If you taste it and it just "doesn't taste like anything," just let it continue to simmer for a while. This part really can't be rushed.  Don't bring it to a hard boil because the chicken will start breaking up.
    
 If you have time, let the gumbo cool, and remove the grease that will rise to the top.  Add fresh green onions, after you remove the grease.  Add  gumbo file’, if desired.  Do not add it to the whole pot, but to individual bowls to avoid making the gumbo stringy.  Serve hot over white rice.


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Written Method:
I highly recommend having all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go before you begin.  Once you start the roux, you can NOT leave it or stop stirring it. 

For the Chicken. Cover bone-on chicken pieces in a large stockpot with cold water. Bring to a boil, and reduce down until the chicken is fork tender.  When the chicken gets tender, debone the chicken.  You can either toss all the skin and bones (if you are in a hurry), or replace them in the stock pot to enrich the stock.  If you do this, let them boil another 15 minutes or so to get a richer stock.  Then you can strain them or fish them out with a spider/slotted spoon.  I don't really like to put my chicken meat back in just yet because it can both over cook the chicken and make it shred... and I prefer my meat to be in larger pieces.   
 
For the Roux. PreHeat cast iron skillet. Add 2/3 c of oil to skillet. Heat oil for a while. Add approx 1c of flour. Stir constantly. When roux starts to really brown, lower heat to med. When roux is a dark chocolate or close to color of skillet, add chopped vegetables and sausage.  (It should be the color of the Nutella chocolate, hazelnut spread.) It might be necessary to increase the heat when the vegetables are added.  They will bring down the temperature of the roux immediately when you add them.  Cook down several minutes more until veggies are wilted and soft.  Be careful, the preservatives in the sausage might cause the roux to stick and burn.

Once the stock has come to the desired state of richness and the bones have been removed, add the roux to the stock pot. Continue the roux in the stock at a hard boil.  Correct the seasonings.  Add the chicken to the gumbo and let it simmer for a while for all of the flavors to marry. This part really takes a while.  If you taste it and it just "doesn't taste like anything," just let it continue to simmer for a while. This part really can't be rushed.  Don't bring it to a hard boil because the chicken will start breaking up

If you have time, let the gumbo cool, and remove the grease that will rise to the top.  Add fresh green onions, after you remove the grease.   Add  gumbo file’, if desired.  Do not add it to the whole pot, but to individual bowls to avoid making the gumbo stringy.  Serve hot over white rice.


Food Nerd Notes (wikipedia): 
Gumbo is a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice file' powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).

Several different varieties exist. Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, tomatoes, and a thickener. Cajun gumbo is generally based on a dark roux and is spicier, with either shellfish or fowl. Sausage or ham are often added to gumbos of either variety. After the base is prepared, vegetables are cooked down, and then meat is added. The dish simmers for a minimum of three hours, with shellfish and some spices added near the end. If desired, filé powder is added after the pot is removed from heat. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice. 

The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including French, Spanish, German, West African, and Choctaw. The dish is the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana.

2 comments:

  1. Hi..looks great. What brand smoked sausage did u use or can u recommend a brand? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there. Without a good "smoky" sausage, gumbo almost isn't worth making! These days, I get all of my smoked meats from Days Smokehouse in Watson, LA.

      I live in Mississippi, so I get a bunch at once. And yes - they DO SHIP!!!! :) Here is a link. http://dayssmokehouse.com/

      Best of luck, Julie

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