A friend of mine had requested for dinner that I make gumbo. Ok I have to admit it has been ages since I have made gumbo which is sad because I love cajun/creole cooking and New Orleans is one of my favorite cities to visit next to good old Las Vegas.
The key to a good gumbo though all starts in the roux which is basically a simple one to one fat to flour mixture that is stirred constantly. Depending on how long you stir for is going to give you the flavor you want along with the thickening ability. If you go more towards the darker color you will end up with a really nutty tasting roux but a lot of the thickening ability will be lost however, more of a pale roux is going to have a neutral taste but more thickening ability.
Speaking of roux making has anyone had good success with making big batches of roux and freezing them in 1 cup containers or anything? If I could spend a Saturday just rouxing while I am already chained to a stove skimming stock I would be in heaven.
For this recipe you will need:
- 1 lb andouille sausage sliced
- 4 chicken thighs skin removed and diced
- 1 green pepper medium dice
- 1 onion medium dice
- 1 stalk of celery medium dice
- 4 garlic cloves finely diced
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 TB of fresh thyme leaves
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 cup of lard
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- file powder (optional)
Over medium heat melt the lard and when the lard is liquid add in the all-purpose flour. The key here is stir stir stir stir stir. You want to keep stirring the roux till it is the color of chocolate which will be about 40 minutes. You also do not want to rush this process so relax, put a good CD on, and stir.
This is the start of the roux:
Once it has reached a nice chocolate color add in the sausage, chicken, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir this around for 5 minutes and then add in the garlic and stir for another minute.
Add in the chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne to start. Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You want to let this simmer for a good 2 hours uncovered.
If you want to thicken the mixture up a little bit more add in 1 TB of file powder and bring to a boil. If the mixture is still to runny add in some more file powder. This is also the time to taste and adjust flavors. Needs more spice well stir in some cayenne pepper or maybe some salt and pepper if it tastes a little bland. I am not a big of salting and peppering these types of dishes during the cook time especially if using store bought sausage because you can very easily over salt the dish depending on the saltiness of the sausage.
Serve over rice with some chopped parsley.