A few days ago the temperature dropped and the wind blew so hard that there were drafts freezing fingers and toes throughout the house. It was a perfect day for making a rich, spicy pot of gumbo to warm everyone up. Gumbo is one of our favorite soups to make–it offers so many variations and possibilities. This version is slightly thick but not stewy, has a rich, roasted flavor with a balanced spice and acidity.
Okra Gumbo Recipe with Chicken and Andouille Sausage
serves four to six
- 5 tbsp vegetable oil
- black pepper (to taste)
- red pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 large link of Andouille or Polish sausage
- 2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 small green bell pepper
- 1/2 sweet or yellow onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp finely minced, fresh parsley
- 1 and 1/2 cups White Wine
- 6 cups Chicken Stock (we use our homemade chicken stock)
- 1 and 1/2 cups cut okra
- one 15-ounce can drained, diced tomato
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- hot sauce (to taste)
- Serve over medium-grained rice.
1). Using a cast-iron Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, add oil and heat to medium-high. Rub the raw chicken with salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Slice the sausage into rounds. Put the chopped sausage and chicken in the pot. Sear the chicken on all sides in the oil until it is browned–it is not necessary to cook the chicken all the way through. Remove the meat and set aside, leaving the oil.
2). Meanwhile, wash and chop all of your vegetables (the garlic and parsley, mince finely).
3). Now it’s time to make the essential component of a good gumbo–the rioux. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow pot some time to cool. Stir in flour. The flour and oil mixture should be of a consistency where stirring produces ridges in the mixture that then slowly â€˜melt’ into the bottom of the pot. The mixture should not be dry and crumby nor should it be liquid. Add oil or flour as needed to produce the proper consistency, and stir frequently.
4). Over a period of some time–as long as 45 minutes–stir the rioux often enough to insure it browns evenly and does not scorch or burn. (A scorched or burned rioux should be discarded.) When you get a color like dark caramel or milk-chocolate, then the rioux is done.
5). Add onions, celery, green pepper, parsley, and garlic. Stir the vegetables and rioux frequently until the onion is translucent.
6). Add white wine and chicken stock and stir until the rioux has dissolved completely. The soup base should be slightly thick and a golden-brown in color. Add remaining ingredients including the previously cooked meat. (The soup will thicken noticeably when the okra is added.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours.
7). Start your rice the appropriate time before serving time according to its own directions.
8). De-bone chicken and make any last-minute flavor changes. Add salt, black pepper, or red pepper, as necessary.
9). Serve over medium-grained, boiled rice with a bottle of hot sauce handy.