Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Heaven can be a little spicy… A rich bowl of smoky gumbo along with a generous helping of devilish potato salad. It’s a treat when someone offers you a bowl of homemade gumbo & some tend to run the opposite direction when the thought of making their own recipe comes to mind. It isn’t difficult but it does take a little time. Once the vegetables have been prepped, a quick roux can be prepared & then it’s simply down to simmering. By all means, don’t let the roux intimidate you. Follow my tips for making this valuable flavor component in about 5 minutes. Chicken & Sausage Gumbo will be one of your favorites in no time. Offer a selection of classic accompaniments such as potato salad, rice or saltine crackers & let guests customize their own bowl. Get ready to hone your skills & make a batch of classic, spicy comfort.
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
makes 6 to 8 servings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lb fresh or frozen sliced okra, divided
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1 generous sprig of thyme
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
Garnish: Fresh parsley
Whisk together the oil & the flour in a Dutch oven over Medium-High heat. Stir constantly 5 minutes or until the roux reaches the color of a milk chocolate bar. Add the celery, the onion, the bell pepper & the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Stir in the chicken broth, half of the okra, the Creole seasoning & the thyme. Simmer over Low heat, partially covered.
Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a sauté pan over Medium heat 5 minutes, turning often. Drain well on paper towels & chill. Cut the chicken into 3-inch pieces & sprinkle with a little Creole seasoning, if desired. Brown the chicken in the sausage drippings over Medium heat until golden on both sides, turning once. Add the chicken pieces to the gumbo. Deglaze the sauté pan used to brown the chicken & the sausage with 1 cup water & add to the gumbo. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour & 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces & shred with a fork. Return the meat to the Dutch oven. Stir in the sausage & the remaining okra. Add 1 to two cups water, if necessary, to thin the mixture. Cook 30 additional minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the thyme stems. Garnish, if desired.
FROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK
How To Make Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Gumbo is a traditional stew that can be prepared a variety of ways but what truly gives the dish its unique characteristics can be attributed to the roux. A roux is basically flour that has been cooked & browned in fat to provide a deep rich flavor to the gumbo. It is a cooking technique used in a variety of applications & can be cooked very little or much longer depending on how it will be used. It works to thicken the gumbo as well. This method relies on high heat that produces a roux in about 5 minutes, however many can take as long as 45 minutes in order to achieve the correct color.
From a quick roux, aromatic vegetables & a slow simmering technique, everything you need to know to prepare gumbo has been included. Learn how to make this regional favorite in your own kitchen. Just a few tools & pieces of equipment will be necessary in order to complete the task. Here’s what you should know.
The Holy Trinity
This classic combination of aromatic vegetables including onions, celery & bell pepper gives gumbo a distinctive flavor. It is used in a variety of regional dishes from étouffée to jambalaya.
Use a 1:1 ratio of flour to oil. This speedy technique produces a nice rich dark color in about 5 minutes. Stir every inch of that pot to keep it from burning. Slide the Dutch oven off of the heat momentarily to keep it a steady color & keep stirring as the oil will continue to cook the flour all the while. You can turn down the heat & take your time at a slightly lower temperature until you get comfortable with the process.
Whisk together the oil & the flour until smooth in a Dutch oven over Medium-High heat. Once the process begins, you will notice bubbles over the surface of the mixture.
As the roux begins to take color, you may notice the flour separating form the oil while stirring it. This is normal. Keep moving the whisk or the wooden spoon around the pot.
As the roux reaches a darker color, you may be tempted to go ahead & add the vegetables. Take it just a bit darker.
Once the roux reaches the color of a milk chocolate bar, it is ready. A nutty aroma will fill your kitchen.
The Cooking Procedure
As the roux remains over the heat, it will continue to cook & brown further as the oil is still extremely hot. Once the vegetables are added, the process will slow & subside. Be certain to stir them occasionally during the procedure.
Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften. The roux will coat the vegetables but it will become smooth once the chicken broth is added.
Okra is not always an ingredient used when preparing classic gumbo recipes but it provides a thickened texture to the hearty stew. Tomatoes are another item many add to this traditional recipe. Creole seasoning & fresh thyme will add additional flavor elements to the dish.
Once the vegetables have softened, add the chicken broth & stir the mixture until smooth. Add half of the okra, Creole seasoning & the thyme. Simmer over Low heat, partially covered.
Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a sauté pan over Medium heat 5 minutes, turning often. Use a pair of tings to make the task easier. Drain well on paper towels & chill.
Cut the chicken into 3-inch pieces & sprinkle with a little Creole seasoning, if desired. Brown the chicken in the sausage drippings over Medium heat until golden on both sides, turning once. Add the chicken pieces to the gumbo.
Deglaze the sauté pan used to brown the chicken & the sausage with 1 cup water & add to the gumbo. Cook the gumbo, stirring occasionally, 1 hour & 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces & shred with a fork. Return the meat to the Dutch oven. Stir in the sausage & the remaining okra. Add 1 to two cups water, if necessary, to thin the mixture. Cook 30 additional minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the thyme stems & garnish each serving with scallions & fresh thyme, if desired. Hot cooked rice, potato salad & crackers are ideal accompaniments to the stew.
The Entertaining Instructions
Cool the gumbo at room temperature, uncovered for 30 minutes. Place in the refrigerator with the lid to one side so that additional steam can escape. Reheat & transfer to a slow cooker to keep warm. Add additional water to thin, if necessary. Organize an assortment of items on a tray such as hot cooked rice, potato salad & crackers to serve with the gumbo. Add a stack of mugs, bowls, spoons & linens.