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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo


Mayhaw Man
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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

It all started when I went to the meat market this morning and bought 3 lbs of chicken thighs. These are not Tyson's Plastic, but real chicken cut by real butchers. They are very good. I got 2 lbs of Richard's Pork Sausage and made a couple of stops to fill my vegetable needs. Sausage from Richard's is great --looks like cased ham! This stuff is just awesome. If you can get it I highly reccomend it. They make (imho) the best commercial pork products in the US.

For a photo play-by-play, click Here. And, here's the definitive EG thread on Gumbo. Gumbo cooked 'round the world.

  • 3 lb chicken thighs
  • 2 lb pork sausage sliced, into about 1/4" coins

Dusting:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 T cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Peanut oil

Roux:

  • 1/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c peanut oil

Trinity

  • 2 green peppers (one green and one red or yellow), diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp black fine crushed black pepper
  • 1 T salt
  • 6 c chicken, turkey or pork stock

Partially skin the thighs (I like to leave a little fat, adds to the flavor when browning). Dust with spiced flour.

Brown the dusted thighs in peanut oil. I like peanut oil as it can take a pretty good beating, adds a nice nutty taste, and you can get it very hot without burning. Turn once and hardly move while they were browning. Remove thighs and place on paper towels.

Brown the sausage coins. I like to get it a little toasty. It adds both flavor and texture to the dish.

Time to make the roux. You may wish to review my photo essay (linked above) to see the process as it colors. The pan has been drained, but not scraped after the browning of the sausage and chicken. It is placed over very high heat (wide open on a normal burner, Flour and oil added; this mixture is stirred constantly. Scrape up the remainder of the meat as you go. Scrape hard and get it all loose or it will all burn and you will have to start over.

First you will have the light roux. Sort of the color of a skinned almond.

Medium Roux. Very light brown. At this point I have been stirring about 5 minutes. It is getting very hot. WARNING-This method of making Roux was popularized during Paul Prudhomme's stay as Head Chef at Commander's Palace in New Orleans. The kitchen staff came to call this type of roux "cajun napalm". If you splash and get it on you it will stick to you and burn you badly (if you try to wipe it off while it is hot the burn will just spread) so BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL.

Dark Roux. Darker brown; approaching Hershey's chocolate syrup. Now we've gotten there. At this point (maybe 10 minutes in) the oil is just starting to smoke a little bit and I am ready to stop the process.

Onion, celery, bell pepper and in. This stops the browning process with the flour and the oil. Stand back as you dump-it can be a pretty lively thing. You are, after all, pouring hot water into oil.

At this point I have just mixed the veg and the roux evenly. The bottom was carefully scraped, as were the sides. Then I add the garlic and I turn the heat to medium low and slowly simmer with the top on, stirring and scraping occasionally. By adding now these spices will incorporate nicely with the veg mix and basically melt into the mix. Getting the veg to the right point will take about 15 minutes. Now is the time to add the garlic.

Taste at this point and adjust spicing. (some like it hot, some not. I find that with this type of gumbo I do not prefer it so spicy. The veg, sausage, and especially the chicken all stand out on their own and don't need to be bammed to heavily with spice-but as always it is a matter of personal choice)

Add 6-8 cups of stock, the chicken, and the sausage. It is all stirred well and brought to a boil while uncovered. Once it hits a boil, let boil for 5 min or so on low boil, cut the heat back down to medium low and simmer for one and a half hours with the lid on. Skim fat occasionally if you wish. There will not be much grease if you did the first two steps right and bought quality sausage.

About ten minutes before finish of simmer time, add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsely and 6 or 8 chopped green onions (tops and bottoms).

Ready to plate. Yessir Buddy! That's the stuff I was looking for (I wouldn't have showed it if I had screwed it up). It is a very nice color, thick but not too, and has a nice spicy tang to it while not being overpowering. You should be able to taste the veg, chicken, and sausage nicely and the three really are working together the way that they are supposed to. A nice spicy tang while not overpowering.

Fit for Royalty. A bargain at any price.

Keywords: Soup, Main Dish, Intermediate

( RG1186 )

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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