|A delicious and easy gumbo made with a roux, the Trinity of vegetables and using a whole chicken and andouille sausage.|
Chicken and Andouille Sausage GumboI've talked before about being a big fan of Miss Lucy H. Zaunbrecher's show, Classic Cajun Culture & Cooking and her Louisiana recipes. It comes on PBS stations generally, but I've caught her on the RFD-TV station too. I just let the DVR catch her show whenever she is on.
Her recipe is a little different method from how I usually do a gumbo, but I tried to stay pretty true to it, substituting thighs in place of the whole chicken, just because that is what I happened to have in my freezer. I cooked my roux to a medium dark - like the color of a dark copper penny - but you could also take this one darker. My dark oven roux would work well here too.
I used Savoie brand andouille sausage which is a highly seasoned, spicy smoked Cajun sausage from Louisiana, but you can substitute regular smoked sausage if you don't want it too spicy, because it does give it a super strong, highly spicy bite. Andouille can often been very spicy, and a bit overpowering for many folks, so unless you're already seasoned in heavy Cajun fire, stick with a regular smoked sausage. Cajun and Creole cooking is not about fiery burn your mouth off spice or heavy red pepper! It is about the layering of flavors and seasonings that enhance the dish, with just a bit of a bite at the back of your tongue to awaken your senses and maybe clear your sinuses a tad.
If you substitute regular smoked sausage, you might want to add some cayenne pepper or some of my favorite Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning to just give it a tiny bit of kick. I let my gumbo cook for 2 hours until the meat essentially fell off of the bone, and just fished out the skin and bones at the end.
Like most soups and stews, the flavor of gumbo improves day to day, so always try to make gumbo the day before you intend to eat it. It really needs that overnight refrigeration to let the flavors mingle and marry.
Here's how to make it.
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Recipe: Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 2 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole hen or fryer, cut into serving pieces
- 1 gallon water, heated
- About 3 large pinches of kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 pound mild andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, sliced in 1/4" rounds
- 1/4 cup green onion, chopped, optional
Make a dark roux by continuously stirring flour into the hot oil in a tall, heavy bottomed stockpot. Meanwhile, slightly warm the gallon of water in a separate pot. Since you are adding water to a hot roux, you don't want the water to be too hot, or your roux could separate and end up oily. Slowly begin to add some of the warmed water to the roux about a cup at a time, until well incorporated and all water is used. Bring up to a medium high boil. Add the chicken, sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt and pepper and continue to boil until meat is tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add the green onion if desired and boil for an additional 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.
Cook's Notes: Gumbo is a dish that only improves with advance preparation, so make it ahead of time if possible. The flavors really need time to settle and mellow. It's always better the next day. Prepare, let cool and skim any accumulated oil off the top before storing. Use more roux for a thicker gumbo, or adjust your stock using more for a thinner gumbo; less if you like it thicker.
Andouille sausage is a highly spiced smoked sausage that is blended with Cajun spices, adding a spicy kick and great flavor to these dishes. If you substitute kielbasa or other smoked sausages in recipes where it calls for Andouille, it will affect the outcome of your dish and you’ll need to make adjustments in the seasonings you use.
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