Just in time for Mardi Gras, Dr. Jeff is back with another Louisiana recipe for y’all! You can read more about Jeff and his experience cookin’ in NOLA in his Jambalaya post. He joined us on a Saturday night a few weeks ago for a little bit of beer and a lot of conversation. Or was it a little bit of conversation and a lot of beer?
We decided on a chicken + sausage gumbo (and maybe we’ll do a seafood one soon!) Matt and I picked up the chicken and some sausage and made rice, and Jeff brought over the fancy ingredients and the roux.
And his signature bag of onions!
He made the roux at home because we didn’t want to eat dinner at 10pm. Gumbo is not a “easy weeknight dinner” (although the leftovers were!) Rather, it’s historically made on the weekend with all of the leftover meat bits and veggies from the week. Roux making is often described in terms of beer consumption instead of time. Jeff said his took about 2 beers to finish It was nice and toasty brown. Once the roux is made, the recipe is really quite simple.
Two other key ingredients Jeff brought were Abita’s Turbodog and Gumbo Filé (pronounced “fee-lay”). The filé is ground sassafras and was used both in the dish and as a garnish on top. It smelled like Earl Gray tea!
Let the cooking commence…
We were pretty hungry after two hours of simmering, and as much as Jeff wanted to keep letting this bad boy bubble away, we decided it was time to eat.
I had made a big cooker of rice on the side, which I learned is best served as a garnish on top rather than the base of the gumbo.
We filled our bowls with gumbo, added some scoops of rice, sprinkled on the filé and then garnished with some of Jeff’s super spicy homemade hot sauce
And of course enjoyed it with a few kinds of beer!
The gumbo was fantastic. I’d consider it a “fancier” recipe than the jambalaya we had last time, but I honestly can’t tell you which one I liked best. I’m leaning towards the jambalaya, actually, only because the gumbo was super rich! But boy was it good.
Jeff’s Louisiana Gumbo
Ingredients (A huge pot (maybe 6-10 serving)
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound Andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage) cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces
- 1 pound boneless/skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (Such as Tony Chachere’s)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped bell peppers
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 oz Turbo Dog beer (or other dark beer)
- 14.5 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 12 oz. frozen cut okra
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon file powder
- Hot sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot. Add the sausage and cook until well browned. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Season the chicken with Salt and pepper and add in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 30 to 45 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. (Two beers worth of time) : )
Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, creole seasoning, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly add the beer, chicken stock, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Add the reserved chicken and frozen cut okra to the pot and simmer for 1 hour, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.
Remove and discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley, and file powder. Salt and Pepper to taste.
Ladle gumbo into deep bowls or large cups and spoon rice on top
Thanks for another great dinner Jeff!