Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Andouille Gumbo

When I decided to do a recipe a week, I really thought it would be easy. But I started a new full-time job in February, and my weekly chicken recipe plans got derailed. Heck, my weekly *cook a meal* plans got derailed. But our pizza consumption has thrived.

That said, I'm going to do my best to (a) do more home-cooked meals, (b) do more roasted chicken meals and (c) post recipes when I do.

This gumbo recipe is a family classic. Every one loves it. Seriously. It is good stuff. I normally make this for Christmas Eve, using the leftover (frozen) Thanksgiving turkey. But this week, I adapted the recipe to (a) prepare a serving for less than 50 people and (b) use a chicken. On the plus side: I cooked, it was awesome. On the minus side, I took no photos. But on the semi-plus side, I've made this recipe en masse many times and photos were taken, so I'll have a few to throw in.

So here we go. Gumbo. This gumbo starts where all good gumbos start. With a roux.
To make your roux, melt one stick of butter and incrementally stir in one cup of flour, stirring over a medium-low heat four eleventy billion hours. When your arm throbs, you're halfway done. Seriously. That is how a roux is made. Equal measure butter and flour, stirred until it's caramel colored.

Gumbo ingredients:
Roux (1 stick butter, 1 cup flour)
2 onions, diced
1 lb frozen okra
1 glove of garlic, diced
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 roasted chicken, deboned
1 pound of andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb can of tomato sauce
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
3 lb can of chicken broth
1 teaspoon each: paprika, thyme, oregano and cayenne (go light on the cayenne, you can add hot sauce later)
at the table: gumbo file, to taste

Once your roux is carmel colored and the consistency of putty, add your onions, garlic and celery. Cook until soft. If you're doing this in a pan, transfer to your stock pot. If you want to save on washing a pan, make the roux in a stock pot.

When your veggies are soft, add the frozen okra and cook until not frozen any longer. Add your chicken and sausage, tomatoes (both) and broth. Add seasoning.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least two hours. I make mine in the morning and simmer all day.

Did I mention that I usually make enough for a party of 50 people? Yeah, this recipe is not for 50 people. It's for one pot. A large pot. You'll have enough for dinner, and then some for the freezer. Probably not this much for the freezer though.

A tip for freezing gumbos and soups. Pour the cooled soup into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Suck the air out with a straw and seal. Then put it into a second ziplock bag to prevent freezer burn. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and slide into the freezer. When the soup is frozen, you can remove the cookie sheet.

But back to the gumbo. Serve over rice. Add gumbo file and hot sauce to taste at the table.

Cook up a pot and let me know how it goes!