Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

     You can't ever go wrong with a nice bowl of gumbo. Unless, of course, you don't like okra, then you're screwed. Okra seems to be the main factor in people not eating gumbo. Problem solved. I found a recipe that doesn't use gumbo. Some of the purists might say that it's not real gumbo then. Those people are totally entitled to their opinions. I'm also totally entitled to ignore the shit out of them and carry on with my day. This recipe was a winner all the way. Granted, I changed it up a bit. It had plenty of flavor and enough heat to keep things interesting. Serve it over rice along side a few ice-cold beers and you're in business. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
via The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American

  • 1 pound sausage, browned (we used mild Italian sausage, though just about any sausage will do. Just make sure it's loose and not in the casing)
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil (we used vegetable oil)
  • 1 chicken, about 3 pounds, cut up (we used bone-in chicken breasts. Keep reading to see how we did it)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green sweet bell pepper, cored and chopped (since The Wife doesn't much like green peppers, we used a sweet red bell pepper)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2-1/2 quarts chicken stock (omitted. You'll see why)
  • 2 whole bay leaves (just remember: unattended bay leaves equal death)
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (omitted)
  • pinch of ground cloves (omitted)
  • pinch of ground allspice (omitted)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 quarts Cajun-style tomatoes with liquid. (We can these ourselves. Basically you can make them with 2 quarts of canned, stewed tomatoes, then add 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning of your choice and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  1. Brown the sausage in a frying pan (we used the enameled cast iron Dutch oven for the whole thing) with a small bit of the oil. Remove sausage and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the chicken until brown. Remove and set aside (we totally went off-book for this step. I boiled the bone-in chicken until cooked, then stripped the meat off the bone and set it aside. I kept the liquid to freeze as chicken stock for later use.)
  3. Add the flour to the pan and cook with the oil and pan drippings until you have a dark, rich roux, about the color of peanut butter. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to make sure nothing is sticking. Add the vegetables and garlic and saute until limp (the vegetables, not you. If you're limp, add Viagra)
  4. Place the vegetable roux in a 6-quart stockpot (if you're following my suggestions, you've already got it in a large Dutch oven, so you're good) and add the stock (or if you're doing it my way, here's where you put in your 2 quarts of Cajun tomatoes and liquid).
  5. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until the stock thickens (this didn't take but a couple of minutes for me). Add any other seasonings and simmer, covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Add the chicken and sausage to the stockpot and cook until the chicken is tender (I'm going to be honest and admit to throwing the meat in back during Step 4. No harm done)
  7. Serve over cooked rice.
Good times!

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