Spice of Life: Gumbo for the cold

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

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.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

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.

From: www.saveur.com


Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at ecormier@americanpress.com or 494-4090.