By Fran Lane

It’s always the perfect time for gumbo! It’s been said that in Louisiana there are as many gumbo recipes as there are mamas. Gumbo always starts with roux, usually contains okra, and sometimes filé is added. All three are thickeners, as well as flavoring elements. I got this delicious recipe from In A Cajun Kitchen by Terri Piscoff Wuerthner. Enjoy. Tom~

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes / 1 teaspoon salt / 1 teaspoon paprika / 1/2 teaspoon black pepper / 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper / 1/2 cup canola oil / 1/2 cup all-purpose flour / 1 1/2 cups chopped onion / 1 1/2 cups chopped celery / 1 cup chopped green bell pepper / 2 quarts warm chicken stock / 1/4 teaspoon (or more) Tabasco sauce / 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced 1 inch thick / 1 1/2 pounds fresh okra or 20 ounces frozen okra, (defrosted) sliced / 2 cups raw rice / 1 1/2 tablespoons file powder / 1 cup chopped parsley

Season the chicken cubes with the salt, paprika, and black and cayenne pepper; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over low/medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring constantly, to make a medium roux.

Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasoned chicken cubes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly (and reducing the heat, if necessary, to prevent burning).

Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the Tabasco and sausage; reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the okra and simmer for 30 minutes. (Begin cooking the rice when you add the okra.)

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the filé just before dishing it up. Serve in soup bowls, with a mound of rice in the center of each portion, and parsley sprinkled on top.


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