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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
1 to 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock, low sodium or sodium-free
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 whole bay leaves
1 pound Andouille or other hot and spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
White rice, long grain, cooked and ready to serve
Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
File powder (optional)

Cooking Instructions

This recipe uses a traditional dark gumbo roux as the thickener. It borrows Chef John Besh's method that involves caramelizing the onions in the roux before adding other ingredients Take your time making the roux and be extra careful not to burn it.. Also, don't be tempted to add salt early in the cooking process. The Creole seasoning and sausage add a significant amount of salt. Be patient and wait until the end to adjust seasonings. Makes 6 to 8 servings

1. On medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven. Rub chicken thighs with Creole seasoning. Add chicken to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Leave drippings and fat in the pot.
2. Make the roux. Over medium-high to high heat, heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in the Dutch oven. Whisk 1/2 cup of flour into hot oil. Flour should sizzle when you add it. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk continuously until roux is milk chocolate in color. Be careful not to burn. If you burn any part of the roux, discard all of it and start over.
3. Add onions to pot and stir into roux with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring constantly, until onions caramelize and roux turns a dark chocolate color.
4. Add bell peppers, celery, tomato, garlic and chopped Andouille sausage. Stir into roux-onion mixture. Cook 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables release their moisture and begin to soften.
5. Add chicken stock, black pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Skim off excess fat.
6. Add chicken thighs to the pot. Simmer gumbo, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Stir occasionally. If gumbo gets too thick, dilute with chicken stock or water. Continue to skim off as much excess fat as possible.
7. Remove chicken thighs and strip meat from the bones. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces or shred before adding back to the pot. Discard the bones.
8. Add sausage slices, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
9. Taste gumbo and adjust salt and other seasonings. Just before serving, remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
10. To serve, ladle gumbo over hot rice in bowls. Sprinkle with green onions. Let each person add file powder and hot pepper sauce to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings

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