Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Brrrrr! The COLD weather makes hearty hot meals a MUST! Soup, stew and (in the South) gumbo are among our absolute favorites. This is a simple gumbo that allows several options. (There goes "that" word again... options. I've even instilled it into my 4-yr old granddaughter's vocabulary! We like to have lots of "options"!)

Rather than making a traditional roux, this recipe browns the flour in a dry skillet. This is much easier and if you make a mistake, you can toss it out and start over easily (options!) The recipe uses andouille sausage, but I have substituted smoked sausage successfully. I also added 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning.

Simple supper : Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Crusty French Bread and a green salad.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart Magazine. I "borrowed" it and have prepared it several times, making small changes and suggesting "options"!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 link andouille sausage, finely chopped OR 1/2 lb smoked sausage OR a combination of the two
3 medium celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
12 oz. fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch slices OR 2 cups frozen sliced okra
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes (with juice plus enough water to make 2 cups liquid), coarsely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring to break up lumps, until it reaches the color of peanut butter and has a toasted aroma, about 14 minutes. Adjust heat to prevent burning. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool. Sift through a fine sieve, pressing clumps.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for 1 minute. Increase heat to high. Add celery, onion and green pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Add okra; cook for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, gradually whisk broth into flour; add to Dutch oven along with chicken, tomatoes, juice and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium; simmer vigorously for 1 hour. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Transfer chicken to a plate and remover meat from bones. Add meat back to gumbo. Remove bay leaves. Stir in Worcestershire sauce.  Yield: 10 cups / 8 servings.

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