When I was in Tennessee last year, I bought a whole pantry full of southern ingredients. I have hardly used them! This is a great challenge. I can finally use my gumbo filé. I also used Tony Cacheres Creole seasoning mix rather than make my own. I also cut the entire recipe in half! It is a huge recipe and could easily feed a crowd for a party.
This is so delicious. I know you will take one look at this recipe and say, "Nope. Too much work."
It is worth every hour. If you keep homemade chicken stock and rendered duck fat in your freezer, there, it is half done! I used what I had at hand. There is no andouille sausage in my town so I used chorizo. Smoked spicy sausage was substituted with double smoked pepperoni. For the rice, I used basmati. But you must remember that basmati is so delicate and cooks quickly. Take the lid off after 12 minutes and let the moisture escape.
I used a large cast iron pan but you could easily use a cast iron casserole.
The most fun was to make the roux. I remember when I was a child that my mother would make gravy and start with a roux of fat and flour that she would cook until it was a nice colour. This just takes that browning a little farther.
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.
Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage GumboMinimally adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh
1/2 cup rendered duck fat
1/2 cup flour
1/2 large onions, diced
1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces
1 tablespoon Basic Creole Spices (recipe follows), or store-bought Creole spice blend
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 quart homemade duck stock
1 bay leaf
6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
1 cup sliced okra, ½ -inch thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Filé powder, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
4-6 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice (recipe follows)
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.
Add the chicken to the pot; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the sliced smoked sausage and stir for about a minute.
Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
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.
Add the chopped andouille, okra, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco, all to taste.
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. Pass more filé powder at the table if desired.
Basic Louisiana White RiceAdapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh
Servings: About 4 cups
1 tablespoon chicken fat, extra-virgin olive oil, or butter
1 small onion, minced
1½ cups Louisiana (or another long-grain white rice)
3 cups Basic Chicken Stock
1 bay leaf
1-2 pinches salt
1. Put the fat, oil, or butter and the onions into a medium saucepan and sweat the onions over moderate heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the bay leaf and salt.
5. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.
Basic Creole SpicesFrom My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh
Makes ½ cup
2 tablespoons celery salt
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
Mix together all spices in a bowl. Transfer the spices to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Store up to six months.