People, Mardi Gras is coming. Like, next week. So, who’s ready to party? We’ve got a group together to hit up Bourbon Street and we’re going to drank all weekend long.
Just kidding, I’m going with the Boyfriend’s family to the Dominican Republic. Nothing but beaches and sunshine and the sound of crashing surf for this gal. So you warm up with this positively fantastic chicken sausage gumbo, and I’ll warm up for real.
Now, y’all might remember that I grew up in Texas. But I haven’t told you that I’ve got kinfolk from Louisana. And they can cook. Remember Not-My-Grandma-Pat’s Coffee Cake? If not, I suggest you scoot on over and check it out. That shit will liven up any ol’ brunch. And Pat’s daughter-in-law — who also happens to be my culinarily-very-talented aunt — makes a mean chicken and sausage gumbo every Thanksgiving for the whole family. This is not her recipe. That’s a family secret. But this is a dang good chicken and sausage gumbo that I make at home — starting with a long-cookin’ oven roux, fully cooked chicken, spicy sausage, traditional creole Holy Trinity mirepoix (onion, celery, and green bell pepper) and okra. Finished with a little file powder (ground sassafras leaves) and served over rice, you’ll warm right up.
- ¾ c. vegetable oil, plus 1 T.
- ¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 ziploc baggie of frozen chopped kale stems, or 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 2 bags frozen chopped okra
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 lb. cooked hot italian sausage
- 1 batch brodo or 4 c. store-bought chicken stock or 4 c. water, as long as you can simmer the gumbo for a couple of hours
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 t. file powder
- Salt and pepper
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a cast iron skillet (like this one), whisk together the flour and ¾ c. vegetable oil until fully combined.
- Bake in the oven -- no stirring! no moving! no watching! -- for 2 full hours. When the skillet comes out of the oven, it should be full of a liquid the color of a raw hazelnut skin. It should have lost the smell of raw flour.
- Heat 1 T. vegetable oil in your soup pot over medium heat. Saute the chopped onion, stirring regularly, until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the kale stems (or celery stalks if using those), bell peppers, and okra, and saute another 5 minutes or so, until the greens are bright green.
- Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute or so.
- Mix the roux and worcestershire sauce into the vegetable mixture. Add the chicken and sausage (friendly reminder: at this point, both the chicken and the sausage should be fully cooked), and mix until everything is distributed evenly. Add the brodo or stock or water and stir until evenly distributed; add the bay leaves.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow the gumbo to simmer for at least two hours. In the last fifteen minutes, stir in the file powder. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
- Serve over white rice.