Another mainstay of Southern cooking is a good gumbo. There’s no right or wrong way to make gumbo (though most Southerners will tell you a wrong way), it’s essentially a stew made of whatever you’ve got on hand. Got a whole bunch of crawfish and shrimp? Toss them in too. Okra? In the pot it goes. Some people like to add tomatoes (which would make this a creole gumbo instead of a cajun gumbo). I’ve just outlined a simple chicken and sausage gumbo that will make everyone happy and you can build on however you’d like with whatever you’ve got. Most Southern cooking is about being with your family and feeding them good food so as long as you make it with some love and some good ingredients your family will keep bugging you to make more.
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Ready in 6 hours
Feeds 10-12 people
- Seriously, don’t stop stirring your roux with a whisk or it will burn. You can’t over-stir it. Don’t burn it.
- Use a good beer that you like to drink to flavor the gravy. If you don’t like drinking it, don’t cook with it.
- 2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 lbs Andouille sausage (or spicy Conecuh if you can find it)
- 2 medium jalapeños
- 2 tsp FRESH Thyme
- 16oz whatever amber or lager beer you have or will drink or like
- 1 cup Grape seed oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 large ribs Celery
- 2 large Green Bell Pepper
- 2 quarts chicken STOCK (not broth. Unsalted)
- 10 bay leaves
- 2 medium red onions
- 12 pieces garlic
- 30 shakes or grinds of black pepper
- 1 pinch of salt
- Hot sauce to taste
- Chopped scallions for garnish
- Cut up ALL of your veggies first. Brunoise your bell peppers, celery, onion, and jalapeños. Leave the jalapeño seeds in there. Smash all the garlic with the flat side of your knife and then mince it. Cut your andouille into medallions or diagonal pieces or tear it into chunks with your fingers. Leave the chicken thighs whole.
- Step 1: Turn the broiler on your oven on high. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs and use a little oil to coat the bottom of a big cast iron skillet (or anything that can take a broiler), put your chicken close under the broiler, flip it when one side has crispy tips. Take it out when both sides have crispy tips; golden brown. Pour a splash of beer in the pan to get the pieces unstuck from the bottom (with a spatula or wooden spoon) when you pull it out.
- Step 2: Put a cup of grape seed oil in a large Dutch oven or large heavy-bottom stock pot and turn it on medium high heat. We’re making a Roux now. Make sure your chopped onion, celery, jalapeño, and bell pepper are within arms reach. Once the oil is hot dump the cup of flour in and start vigorously stirring with a whisk. DO NOT STOP STIRRING VERY VIGOROUSLY UNTIL IT IS MEDIUM DARK BROWN. Like chocolate brown. It’ll take around 15-20 minutes. No walking away. No glancing at your phone. Stir. Don’t let it burn to the bottom or start a kitchen fire. Stir vigorously.
- Step 3: Once it’s brown dump all your arms-reach veggies into it and switch to stirring all of it with a big wooden spoon. Throw in a pinch of salt to help the veggies give off some of that moisture. Once the onion starts becoming translucent put in all your garlic and keep stirring.
- Step 4: Once all that cooks down and gets kinda mushy pour your beer in slowly, stirring it the whole time. Let that gravy get hot but not burn to the bottom. Stir it for 5 minutes till the alcohol evaporates out of it. It shouldn’t be boiling, but slightly bubbling.
- Step 5: Slowly start pouring in your chicken stock. Don’t pour it all in too fast or it’ll get lumpy and you’ll look silly with lumpy gross gumbo. Keep it around simmering and pour in more when it bubbles. Once that’s all in throw your sausage and chicken into the party. Make sure to get all the pieces and liquid from the chicken pan in there. Throw in your Thyme, black pepper, and bay leaves. Stir it all up and reduce heat till it’s slowly simmering. Add hot sauce now. As much as you want.
- Step 6: Leave it on the heat, stirring it every 20 minutes for about 6-8 hours. Make 2 cups of jasmine rice with half a stick of butter and a bay leaf in it. Half a bowl of rice with a ladle full of gumbo and some chopped scallions for a garnish.