CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds
If you want a good gumbo, you have to start with a good roux. Roux is a combination of fat and flour, cooked together and used to thicken soups, stews and sauces. For a proper gumbo, the roux must be cooked long enough to develop a deep reddish brown color. When it gets to this point, in addition to being a thickening agent, it lends a unique flavor that is critical to authentic gumbo.
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup diced celery
• 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
• 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
• 1 package (10 oz) frozen okra, thawed and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices
• 1 lb smoked andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
• 3 cups chicken stock
• 2 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
• 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and saute until mixture is a dark reddish brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and red and green peppers; saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf and thyme; saute for 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes with juice, okra, sausage, stock and Creole seasoning; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring often, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Add chicken and heat until steaming, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf.
3. Divide rice among heated bowls and top with soup.
Tip: Creole or Cajun seasoning is a combination of many things, but mostly cayenne pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, black pepper and paprika in equal proportions.