Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: The Daring Cooks’ May 2011 Challenge

Our May hostess, Denise of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need from creole spices, homemade stock and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

I am so glad that this month challenge is GUMBO because I love LOVE soups and stews, and gumbo is one of my top favorites. I like seafood gumbo as well but I think I make a better chicken gumbo than seafood so this is what I often make, especially in the cold months. Sometimes I make a huge pot to eat some and freeze some.

Gumbo, in my opinion, is not hard to make and one should not be discouraged after seeing the long list of ingredients. However, it does take some patience to make a good roux and some time to chop up the veggies and get the chicken ready etc. There are other options to speed up the process if you choose to. For instance, instead of making homemade chicken broth and shredding your chicken, use boneless skinless chicken breast or store bought rotisserie chicken and box chicken broth. There are also jars of roux you can buy if you do not want to make roux but I enjoy making everything from scratch so I just pick a day that I have time and make this yummy pot of gumbo.

Feel free to tweak the recipe according to your taste. For instance, add more or less veggies or hot sauce or omit anything that you do not have or like. You can make a thicker gumbo if you make more roux by increasing the flour and oil. (Just keep a 1:1 ratio). Add more stock for a thinner gumbo. Some file powder can be sprinkle at the end into the pot or in the bowl before eating.

Okra is optional even though some say it is not gumbo unless okra is in it. (Tip: some say that if you sauté the okra in a little bit of oil before adding into the pot will make it not so slimy. I just add the chopped okra as is.)In my opinion, there are no rules and it’s all about your taste!

So enjoy it how YOU want it!


1 whole chicken, about 3-4 lbs
1 lb smoke sausage
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
½ cup canola oil
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 Cup chopped fresh or frozen okra (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Tabasco sauce
1 TBS soy sauce
Salt and peeper to taste
Steamed rice to serve with

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. In a large stock pot, place the whole chicken and rub some salt and pepper onto the chicken. Cover the chicken with cold water and boil on low to medium heat till the chicken is tender, for about 1 hour.

Strain the chicken and reserve the stock. Remove skin and bones from the chicken and shred or chop the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, chop the onion, celery and bell pepper and cut the sausage into ½ inch thick pieces.

Make the roux by heating the oil on medium heat and adding the flour. Stir continuously till the roux is a darker golden brown and not let the flour burn. (This is very important). This will take about 30 min or so. Be careful because it is very hot.

Add the veggies and bay leaf when the roux is ready and cook till they are almost tender, then add the cayenne pepper. Cook a few more minutes.

Add the chicken, sausage, seasonings and the stock. If you are using okra, add okra. Let simmer on low heat till desire thickness or about 20-30 min. Serve over white rice. ENJOY!!!

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