Chances are you woke up this morning after Tuesday’s rain showers and dipping temperatures and realized a gumbo was missing from your life.
Whether it is a chicken and sausage; shrimp and crab meat; sausage, shrimp and okra; wild game; or chicken and shrimp, a gumbo in all of its mixed and matched glory is made to satisfy and comfort the deepest parts of our souls.
What follows is a good recipe for a chicken and sausage gumbo that may provide pointers for the newer generation of gumbo cooks who want to master the fine art of making a dish that satisfies.
Makes six to eight servings
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 2 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
• 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
• 1 cup flour
• 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
• 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons dried thyme
• 1 teaspoon cayenne
• 6 canned, whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained and crushed by hand
• 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 10 ounces okra, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
• 4 cups chicken stock
• Cooked white rice, for serving
• Hot sauce and file powder, for serving
• Heat quarter cup of oil in 8 quart Dutch oven (or other cooking pot) medium-heat. Working in two batches, season chicken with salt and pepper, and add chicken to the pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
• Transfer to a plate. Add sausage and bacon and cook, stirring until their fat renders and bacon is browned, about 15 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken.
• Add remaining oil, and reduce heat to medium-low, stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly until this mixture (called roux) is the color of dark, reddish caramel, about 8 minutes.
• Add celery, onion, and pepper, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf and cook for 3 minutes.
• Return chicken, sausage and bacon to pot along with okra and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, okra is tender, and gumbo is thickened, about 30 minutes.
• Remove chicken from pot and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and shred meat, and discard bones and skin; stir meat back into gumbo.
• Season with salt and pepper, and serve with white rice on the side. Serve with hot sauce and filé powder for sprinkling over each serving.
Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 494-4090.