Updated: May 6, 2020
Oh Gumbo! You really have a way with flavor. Your story, spice, nutty undertones, and hearty comfort, leaves people grounded in a way our pallets can't explain. There's something about you that has us all waiting for the pot to fire up, the rice to get dropped in, and bowl passed. Thank you, Gumbo, for your history and comfort.
Creole Chicken Sausage Gumbo
INGREDIENTS3 lbs chicken breast tenders, seared and cut into large pie
4 oz Andouille chicken sausage ( Sub: spicy smoked sausage of choice), or more to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 /2 cup canola or canola (or olive) oil + 2 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup onion, course chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped (chopped red bell pepper, preferred)
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 TBS Cajun seasoning, or more to taste (2 tsp salt, 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp ground or dried thyme)
2 cups fresh okra, chopped (or frozen, thawed)
1 cup stewed tomatoes, mashed with juice (using a fork)
2 bay leaves, or 2 tsp filet powder
4 1/2 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth, heated
1/4 cup green onion, chopped, optional
Heat oil and butter in pan, bring to medium heat, just before the smoking point. Look for wavy lines within the oil, which indicates the oil is hot enough. Or, you can test with a wooden spoon. If the oil bubbles around the wooden spoon, it's hot enough.
Make a toasted brown roux by sprinkling the flour evenly into the hot oil. Let it sit, until the mixture smells toasted and turns the color of peanut butter. Or, if you like, you can go to a dark caramel color. Stay calm, let it do it's work.
Add the onion, celery, bell peppers to the roux. Allow to them to release their natural water for about 2 minutes. This will stop the browning of the roux, naturally. Wait. Stir. Be patient.
Add the Cajun seasonings. Stir again. 1 minute. Drop in the bay leaves, or sprinkle filet powder.
Add tomatoes and juices. Stir again. The color will look weird, but as it cooks down, it will thicken and color itself beautifully.
Stir in the warmed broth, until well incorporated and all is used. Bring up to a medium high boil for 3 mins. Stir occasionally, allowing to thicken while scraping down the sides. The flavor is on the sides of the pan. Reduce to a medium-high simmer.
Add the chicken, sausage, and okra. Continue to simmer on low-medium, until meat is tender. About 20-25 minutes. You can also drop in a few frozen shrimp. Cover and allow to thicken to your liking.
Serve over hot rice. YUM!
NOTE: If you can make it ahead of time, it's always better the next day. Prepare, let cool and skim any oil off the top before storing or freezing. Use more roux for a thicker gumbo, or more stock for a thinner gumbo.