Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo

For some reason every time I go to make Gumbo my recipe is never complete.   Part of why I named my blog "Pinch of This, That & the Other" is because I forget to measure things and forget to write down what I did to begin with so each time I kinda have to make up my recipe again.  Anyone that has ever had a bowl of Gumbo knows that the roux is the key to the Gumbo.  Not to mention the longer it sits, the better the Gumbo is.  So Gumbo is a great recipe to make a day ahead of time and let hang out in the fridge and serve later.  

You can always buy roux from a store or order it online but this is a pretty simple way to get a good dark chocolate roux with minimal work.  Normally a person needs to sit in front of the stove whisking flour and oil on a high heat for about 45 minutes to get a dark chocolate color.  I don't know about you, but I don't have the time or stamina for that.  I saw on Food Network once someone doing it in the oven, which seemed like a brilliant idea and I had to try it.  What do you know, it works and it works well!  You do still have to tend to it every 15 minutes for about 2-3 hours until you get a great color but beats constant whisking for 45 straight minutes in my book.  


1 c. flour
1 c. vegetable oil 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place your flour and oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan like cast iron.  This is a big deal, if you use a regular pan you probably will end up burning your flour.  Whisk flour and oil mixture and place in oven, uncovered.  Whisk every 15 minutes for 2-3 hours or until a nice dark chocolate color. (The color starts out as what is considered blonde, then goes to a peanut butter color before hitting different tones of chocolate).  

While you have the roux cooking it is time to make the chicken stock.  Of course you can use store bought chicken stock and an already cooked rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken if you have one instead. 

Chicken Stock:

1 whole chicken (about 5 lbs.)
Salt (I just eyeball it but probably about 1 1/2 tbsp.)
Small handful of peppercorns
2 whole carrots, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1 garlic bulb (whole bulb, not just clove) chopped lengthwise
2 bay leaves
1 few springs of thyme

Place whole chicken and all ingredients in a stock pot and just cover with water until chicken is covered, should be probably about 8 c. of water or so.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours (or until chicken is cooked through).  Strain stock and keep just the stock and discard vegetables.  Put entire chicken aside and shred to add back into the gumbo later.  Don't shred the chicken to much though or it will basically disintegrate in the gumbo later.   

½ medium onion, diced
1 large piece of celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
File powder (or fresh okra if you prefer)
1 pound andouille sausage links

Once roux is a nice dark chocolate color take out of the oven and place on stove top on a medium heat.  Add in the onion, celery, bell pepper and sausage and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add in the garlic, paprika, cayenne and file powder.  Add in all of the chicken stock and stir in bay leaves.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add in shredded chicken and simmer another 15 minutes.  Serve over rice.  

I'd also like to mention in my picture you don't see any pieces of onions, celery or bell pepper like the recipe calls for.  My husband doesn't like the texture of any of those so when I cook I chop mine into really large pieces and pull them out before serving so mine is the gumbo liquid with just meat.  By cooking it in there I get the flavor but pull it out so my husband doesn't have to eat it with the vegetables.  Yes, more work on my part but the end result is totally worth it!

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