Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1st You Make A Roux Part II- Gumbo

Gumbo: Chicken and Sausage

Chicken and sausage gumbo is a Cajun favorite, and although available in restaurants year-round, it is particularly popular as a homemade dish during the wintertime. Making a gumbo can be time-consuming (the roux alone can take about thirty minutes to prepare), but the final product is well worth the wait.

Ingredients:

Roux (oil and flour)
3 14½ oz. cans chicken broth
2 small onions
1 bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
Black pepper
Salt
Cayenne pepper
Filé (ground sasafras)
1½ lb chicken - seasoned
1 sausage link (about 1 to 2 lbs)
green onions
rice

As the saying goes, "First, you make a roux." Once this is done, in a large pot combine the cooled roux with chicken broth, then add water until the mixture reaches one inch from the top of the pot. Boil for 30 minutes, skimming occasionally to remove grease. Add chopped vegetables, and boil for another 30 minutes. Add seasonings, and meat (cut chicken, sliced sausage), and boil for 60 to 90 minutes, skimming to remove grease. Serve over rice, and garnish with chopped green onions. (By the way, leftover gumbo is almost always better than freshly made gumbo.) If Cajun sausage is unavailable in your area, try smoked sausage as a substitute. This recipe makes about 25 to 30 bowls of gumbo.

Note:
Some people like to add file powder (a thickening agent, pronounced "fee-lay") to the gumbo. If you do, start with a tablespoonful or two, added after the gumbo has cooked. If you add too much, or if you cook the file powder for a while, the gumbo will become gummy.

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