Summary: I make a very slightly adjusted version of Emeril's recipe because it is just awesome. There are many versions of gumbo but this, to me, is the archetypal LA GUMBO.
*File powder is ground sassafras leaves. I've never seen it outside of the south so pick some up on a visit or order it. It thickens and adds a subtle flavor.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 lb andouille sausage (if you can't find it, use kielbasa or a spicy, well-seasoned link); cut into 1/2" rounds; I remove the casings but you don't have to
- 1 - 1.5 pound chicken thighs, skin removed
- 2.5 - 3 pound bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon Cajun blend (if you don't have Tony Chachere's, make a rough blend of paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, salt, garlic and onion powders, and black pepper in roughly equal proportions but more paprika, salt and garlic powder)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 8 bay leaves
- 7-9 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon file powder
- white rice
- crusty bread
In a large cast iron Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat 1 T of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Season the chicken with Cajun blend, and place in a single layer (do in batches if necessary) in the fat that remains in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine the remaining 1/2 c oil and the flour in the same pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, for 17-20 minutes, until you have a dark brown roux, the color somewhere between milk and dark chocolate.
Add the onions, celery, and peppers to the roux and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves, stir and cook 2 minutes. Slowly add the broth and stir until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or an hour.
Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for another hour or a bit more.
Remove the pot from the heat, and using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred, discarding the bones and any skin. Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley and file powder.*
Spoon hot white rice into the bottom of deep bowls and ladle the gumbo on top. Serve with crusty bread and Tabasco.