Tuesday, March 4, 2014

a fat tuesday chicken & andouille gumbo

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo:  A labor of love but oh so worth it!
As a girl from southeast Texas, I have had a lot of Cajun/Creole influence in my food.  I consider myself to cook non-regional cuisine most of the time, but Cajun cuisine finds its way to my kitchen often.  One thing I love to cook is my Dad's gumbo.  I think it may be one of the only meals in his repertoire.  He usually serves a big pot of gumbo on Christmas Day and it is so warming and delicious to eat on a cold winter's day.  As we find this Fat Tuesday a chilly one here in the south, I think it would be fitting to warm ourselves up with a scrumptious bowl of gumbo.
File powder, chopped parsley and green onions are tossed to enhance even more flavor.
This chicken and sausage gumbo has tons of flavor.  As long as you are patient with your roux and get it dark enough, you will be rewarded with a hearty Cajun stew enriched with deep, rich flavor.  A final addition of  earthy sassafras, parsley and green onions adds fresh flavor and a pop of color.

Happy Fat Tuesday. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Chicken & Andouille Gumbo
serves:  6-8

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces andouille, large dice
4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon Cajun/Creole seasoning
1 cup flour
2 cups yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
9 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon file powder
Serve with White Rice
  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook until well browned.  Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Set sausage aside.
  2. Season the chicken with Cajun/Creole seasoning and add it skin(less) side down to the pot with the leftover sausage fat.  Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown.  Remove from pot and let chicken rest and cool in the refrigerator.  Set pot aside.  Do not wash out the pot.
  3. In a high side saute pan combine 1/2 cup vegetable oil and flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and slowly for 20-30 minutes, to make a dark roux-the color of a melted Hershey's bar.
  4. Once desired color has been reached, add the onions, celery, and bell pepper to stop the roux from cooking.  Saute until vegetables are translucent.  Set aside.
  5. Heat the first pot (the one the sausage and chicken were cooked in) over medium heat.  Add a splash of chicken stock to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the roux/veggie mix, sausage, salt, cayenne, bay leaves and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Slowly stir in the chicken stock, and cook, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for an hour.
  7. Add chicken to the pot and simmer for two hours, skimming off foam and fat as it rises to the top.
  8. Remove pot from heat and take chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts.  Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and file powder.
  9. Adjust seasonings, with salt, pepper and/or Cajun/Creole seasonings.
  10. Serve with Rice.

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