Sunday, February 19, 2012

Make Ahead Sunday: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

This recipe is my take on my Mom's (well probably my Grandmother's) original.  We'll serve it on Tuesday with salad, french bread and bread pudding.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/8 cup vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 chicken thighs (bone and skin on)
8 cups water
8 cups chicken stock or broth (2 boxes)
1 1/2 large yellow onions (chopped)
2 green bell peppers (chopped)
3 stalks celery (chopped)
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen sliced okra
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage (cut into half lengthwise then sliced 1/4 inch slices)
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)
10 fresh sage leaves (finely chopped)
1/2 cup flat leaf italian parsley (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red (cayenne) pepprer
Sea salt to taste

Put chicken in pot and cover with water.  Add 1-2 tsp salt.  Boil approximately 20 minutes.  Pull out chicken breasts and allow to cook.  Allow water and thighs to cook another 20 minutes.  Remove thighs and discard.  Strain remaining water (now stock) and reserve to add later.

Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet.  Add okra, season with salt and pepper.  Cook on medium heat until all ropiness is gone.  Approximately 20 minutes.  Set aside.

Mix together to get all the lumps out then heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 15-20 minutes.  Be sure to use a heavy bottomed deep pot (clan iron or similar) with a long spoon.  Otherwise, you WILL get burned.  I even put on an oven mit towards the end.  Keep a very close eye because it can burn easily.  I like mine somewhere between the color of milk and dark chocolate.

As soon as you get the color you want, immediately add the onion, bell pepper and celery.  Even a 1 minute delay can ruin it!  Allow to cook until veggies are tender (approximately 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Add celery and tomatoes.  Allow to cook another 10 minutes.  Add stock and all spices/herbs.  Bring to a boil then turn heat back to low/medium and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Shred cooled chicken.  Add chicken and sausage and allow to simmer 30-45 additional minutes.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve in large bowls over over steamed rice.

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