Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.
DARING KITCHEN MAY's CHALLENGE
CHICKEN & SMOKED SAUSAGE GUMBO
~I've added my thoughts in [ ] and bold and blue~
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) rendered chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil [I used the oil]
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) flour
2 large onions, diced
1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) Basic Creole Spices, or store-bought Creole spice blend [I made mine--come back Monday to see how]
2 pounds (2 kilograms) spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch (15mm) thick
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers (capsicum), seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme [yeah! from my garden!]
3 quarts (3 liters) Basic Chicken Stock (recipe follows), or canned chicken stock [canned taste great too!]
2 bay leaves
6 ounces (175 gm) andouille sausage, chopped [this CAN be found! I found it with the other sausage/hot dog section at grocery store]
2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11 oz) sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch (15mm) thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available) [I used frozen, taste just like fresh to me!]
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Filé powder, to taste [couldn't find it, so left it out]
Tabasco, to taste [no thank you! it has enough "kick" already]
4-6 cups (1 – 1½ liters) (650 gm – 950 gm) cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice [check back Monday!]
1. Prepare homemade chicken stock, if using (recipe below). [I just used store-bough stuff]
2. Prepare homemade Basic Creole Spices, if using.
3. Season the chicken pieces with about 2 tablespoons of the Creole Spices while you prepare the vegetables.
4. Make sure all of your vegetables are cut, diced, chopped, minced and ready to go before beginning the roux. You must stand at the stove and stir the roux continuously to prevent it from burning. [do not mix the onions with the other veggies--they go in at different times]
5. In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes. [mine turned out to look like refried beans at about 7 minutes, so I added chicken stock to try to fix it and continued to next step]
6. Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes. [again, mine didn't...so just kept going...]
7. Add the chicken to the pot; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
8. Add the sliced smoked sausage and stir for about a minute.
9. Add the celery, bell peppers, tomato, and garlic, and continue stirring for about 3 minutes.
10. Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
11. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
12. Add the chopped andouille, okra, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper,
13. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice.