Chicken and Sausage Gumbo will warm up your Mardi Gras

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Cajun Style recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Cajun Style

Prep 15 mins   Cook 1:35   Eat 1:35

This Cajun Style Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is perfect for a Mardi Gras party or when you just need to get your gumbo on.  Perfect for a winter day, it’s smoky, earthy and full of flavor with a bit of New Orleans kick. It takes a bit of time to make, but well worth it, so make it in advance if you are in a hurry for dinner and the flavor will improve overnight, as is the case with most stews.  We made this okra-less Chicken and Sausage Gumbo in our Soups, Stews and Cracker class last month to rave reviews.  In fact, it was the first of our four soups and stews to disappear at the class.  I had to scrape the bottom of the pot to feed our dishwasher.

Southern Soups and Stews cookbook featured on FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Southern Soups & Stews by Nancie McDermott has 8 Gumbo recipes.

This delicious recipe came to me from my new friend, Nancie McDermott, who is a gracious southern belle and wrote the book “Southern Soups & Stews”, which I purchased from her last year at the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference.   I first met Nancie at a food bloggers conference and was happy to meet the author of another favorite cookbook, “Southern Pies”. Both of Nancie’s cookbooks encompass the best of southern food.  In the Soups and Stews book she has no less than eight Gumbos!  Being an okra wimp, I chose the okra-less recipe to make.  But my okra-less days may be over.  More on that later.

Chicken an Sausage Gumbo recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Nancie tells you to cook the roux until it is the color of coffee with cream.

The recipe was easy to follow.  Nancie goes into great detail about how long to cook the roux.  Southerners are very persnickety about their roux.  You must cook the flour and vegetable oil together until it is chocolate brown in this recipe, which took about 15-20 minutes…and yes the beautiful chocolate brown roux adds tons of flavor to this dish.  Then you add the Cajun Holy Trinity, as Emeril always calls it – the onion, celery and green pepper (the mirepoix of Cajun cooking) and coat it with the roux.  This is where ALL the flavor develops.  Next goes in the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne and then the chicken stock, hopefully home-made, which we made fresh in our Soups and Stews class.  Click here to learn how to make stock. I always have home-made chicken stock in my freezer.  So easy, once you get in the habit.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Coat the veggies with the chocolate roux and cook until fragrant.

Finally in the chicken goes and now you cook slowly until the chicken falls off the bone.  She tells you to remove the chicken from the pot and remove from the bone and chop coarsely.  Back into the pot with the Andouille sausage.  Cooking for another 30 minutes until the stew starts to thicken. While the stew is cooking, you need to put on a pot of rice.  Here’s a recipe for making rice in a microwave oven, which is my favorite method for cooking rice.

It’s also a good time to learn about Andouille sausage.  I found a nice chicken Andouille sausage at Trader Joe’s, which was perfect in our Gumbo.  But not all Andouille Sausages have delicious Cajun spices straight from N’awlins. I was in France and ordered Andouille Saucisson.  Ya know what I got?  A sausage filled with intestines. aka chitterlings. Yes, that’s right, it was like eating rubber.  Not edible, as far as I’m concerned.  So beware.  Not all Andouille sausages are equal!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is ready to be served with rice and some fried okra.

Your Chicken and Sausage Gumbo should now be ready and it is so delicious with all the flavor built in from the chocolate roux and the Holy Trinity.  Look in the pot and you will have a nice delicious stew ready to serve in bowls.  Garnish with some green onions and parsley and you have a meal.  A great Mardi Gras meal or any night meal!

Fried Okra recipe at FreshFoodinaFlash.com

Fried Okra is beautiful and tastes pretty good too.

P.S. I took home the Melissa’s Produce okra I brought to our Soups and Stews class (in case someone had to have it!) and I tried it out.  I was told that if you fry okra, which Nancie does in her recipes, it doesn’t have the slime.  So I did and it was good. We served it on top of the Cajun Style Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.  My sweetie loved it and I think it’s going to grow on me now.   Look for cooking instructions very soon.   Maybe a gumbo with okra might be in my future?? I don’t know!

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Cajun-Style

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons  finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 quarts chicken stock
3 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken legs and thighs
1 pound Cajun-style andouille sausage, smoked kielbasa, or other smoked sausage
1 cup thinly sliced green onions plus more for garnish
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cups white rice, cooked your favorite way

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, preferably cast iron or enamel cast iron,  heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. When a pinch of flour blooms on the surface when added to the oil, scatter in the flour and stir quickly and thoroughly, combining the oil and flour evenly into a thick, smooth roux.  Continue cooking, stirring often, as the roux turns from pale yellow to a rich, deep brown, 20 to 35 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the roux darkening slowly, without bubbling up or burning. It should be darker than peanut butter, about the color of coffee with some cream, a deep brown, but not a dark brown.

2. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper to the Dutch oven and stir well, heating them up and coating them with the roux. Let them cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant, softened, shiny and evenly coated with the roux, 2  to 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne; stir well and cook 2 more  minutes.

3. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring it to a lively boil, stirring often to dissolve the roux into the stock.  When everything is boiling nicely, add the chicken pieces.  When the stock returns to a rolling boil, adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring now and then, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

4. While you are waiting, begin to make your rice.  Also, chop the andouille into bite-size pieces.  Halve each link lengthwise and then cut it crosswise into half-moon slices about 1/4 inch thick.

5. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it out on a platter to cool.  As soon as it is cool enought to touch, pull the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin.  Tear or chop the chicken very coarsely and then return the meat to the pot.  Add the andouille and stir.  Cook, stirring now and then, until the sausage has seasoned the gumbo and softened, and eveything has come together into a rich, flavorful, slightly thickened stew, about 30 minutes more.

6. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the green onions and parsley.  Serve the gumbo in bowls over rice or with the rice on the side, garnished with more green onions.

Servings: 10   –   863 calories per serving

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