I feel tremendously sorry for anyone that's never had gumbo. It is the quintessential comfort food, a rich savory stew from Louisiana that's a blend of "Indian, French, Spanish and African cultures" - at least according to Wiki it is. In my book it's the absolute best use of onion, sweet bell peppers, celery, andouille sausage and chicken that I can think of.
Every time I make it I think of my friend Lea at La Casa De Nanan because she's my Cajun sunshine and I know she's the one to give us the goods on making an official version; however, I do believe that once you've got a roux mastered, gumbo is simply made from whatever the cook happens to have available in the kitchen on any given day. I'm confident this one will stand up just fine as long as it's not served along side Lea's. LOL
Don't let the thoughts of making a roux scare you because if that's what's keeping you from doing it, my way takes all of 3 to 4 minutes from start to finish. Now, don't get me wrong; you can coax a roux along for as long as you want to stand over it and stir, but this particular recipe for gumbo is a quick week night solution for dinner so a mere 3 to 4 minutes will give you a passable roux. The key is to have all your ingredients ready before you start and of course you need the right pot. If you've got a cast iron Dutch oven, now's the time to dust it off and you might as well keep it handy, because you'll notice that I use it a lot.
By the way, hit this link and check out what was said the last time we whipped up a pot.
Chicken and Smoked Andouille Gumbo (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne depending on taste
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2-1/2 cups seafood or chicken stock (low sodium)
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 pound smoked andouille sausage cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 pound chicken, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (I used chicken tenders)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Flour for dredging
Freshly cooked long grain rice
Prep all ingredients before you start. Heat oil in heavy cast iron Dutch oven over high heat until almost smoking. Add flour, lower heat to medium high and stir being careful not to splash, cook stirring constantly until dark reddish brown in color (takes 4 to 6 minutes stirring constantly). Do not under any circumstances leave the pot unattended.
When the roux is a rich reddish chocolate brown, immediately add chopped celery, onion and bell peppers and stir well to combine. Lower heat to medium and cook until vegetables are softened – about 5 minutes. Add spices and cook for additional minute. Add stock and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile add vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over high heat until oil is hot. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off the excess. Sauté in hot oil until browned on all sides. Set aside. In same pan, add andouille slices and fry until andouille is browned on the outside. Add sautéed chicken and andouille to Dutch oven and simmer for additional 15 minutes. Serve with rice. Makes 6 large servings.
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