Gumbo, Gumbo, Gumbo....there is no way you can live in Louisiana without at least tasting this delectable concoction. Nine years ago (when we first moved here) I did not even want to try this dish...let alone learn how to make it. However, living year after year after year in one place kind of grows on you....and before you know it, you start fitting in with the locals. You start to understand their culture and how they were raised...to include the food ;) Considering my background and the life I live now, I will never be a full blown Cajun...however, this does not mean I can't learn how to cook Louisiana food ;)
One thing you must know about making Gumbo is that it all boils down to how you make the roux. If you can't make the roux right, then your dish is pretty much doomed.
You may ask, "What the heck is a roux?"
Well...a "roux" is a mixture of fats (such as vegetable oil, lard, or butter) mixed in with a generous amount of flour. You stir and stir and stir and stir this combination on medium heat until it starts to look dark in color. Some people like their roux to be light...others enjoy it dark. The purpose of it is to thicken some of the dishes that are being made. It is similar to how gravy is made.
It has taken lots and lots of practice on my end to learn how to master making a roux. And because of this, my previous attempts at making Gumbo have left something to be desired.
Just take a look at the pictures......
~Wayyyyy to soupy, not dark enough, and the seasonings were all wrong. Came out way to spicy and salty.~
~While still edible, it was not soupy enough. The seasonings were just right though.~
~Perfect! Seasonings were right on...and the consistency was right on target.~
I owe a lot of thanks to my friend's, Jason and April, for providing me with this recipe. I was VERY skeptical about trying it due to my previous two attempts, but I've never been known to walk away from a challenge so I faced this head on and decided to try it out. I am glad I did ;) Husband Man and I made some adjustments to the recipe, but all in all, it is a keeper. This is a long recipe, however the end results are out of this world :)
This will be added to my family's book of favorites, and we hope it will be added to yours too ;)
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo(adapted from the cookbook Dinosaur Barbecue: An American Roadhouse)
Ingredients For The Roux:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
Ingredients For The Gumbo:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
5 and 1/4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 bag of frozen okra
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 and 1/2 cups Roux
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme
Tabasco (or any other kind of hot sauce)
Cooked white rice
Directions For The Roux:
1. Pour the oil into a saucepan over medium heat...sliding it around to make sure it's well heated.
2. Whisk in the flour...a little at a time....stirring constantly. Keep stirring and do not walk away. This requires your full attention.
3. The color will darken little by little with each stir. Keep stirring until it reaches a dark, chocolate color and starts to smell rich and toasty.
4. Once it's to this state, remove the pan from the heat, place the roux in a plastic container, and let it sit until it's somewhat cooled off.
5. Cover and place in the fridge until it's ready to use.
Directions For The Gumbo:
1. Heat up the oil on a heavy-bottomed soup kettle over medium high heat.
2. Add the chicken in batches and cook until they are lightly browned. 4 to 5 minutes.
3. As the pieces get done, toss them into a bowl and shred.
4. Add the sausage slices to the same pot and cook long enough to render out the fat.
5. Place the cooked sausage on a paper towel to drain and pour off some of the fat from the pot...leaving about 1/4 cup inside.
6. Swish the pot with 1/4 cup of chicken broth/stock...scraping in all of the tasty bits.
7. Put the pot back on the stove and throw in the onions, okra, celery, green peppers, and jalapenos while seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper.
8. Cook until soft and tender and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute more.
9. Add the Roux that you made earlier and give everything a good stir.
10. Whisk in the remaining 5 cups of broth.
11. Dump the chicken along with any of the accumulated juices and throw in the bay leaves.
12. Cover the pan and bring everything to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for one hour.
13. Toss the sausage back in and season with thyme and a generous amount of hot sauce.
14. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with hot rice.