Before I get to this (absolutely amazingly delicious) gumbo, I wanted to wish my friend Kelsey a happy virtual bridal shower, and give her my best wishes as she gets married in just over a week! I am so incredibly happy that she has found someone she is absolutely smitten with and is looking forward to spending the rest of her life with. I was set to make something for her virtual shower but I ended up making it at the 11th hour (because I never learn) and it was a total flop. Completely unbloggable. Sigh. Kelsey, hopefully your wedding day goes more smoothly than my mini cheesecake experience. 😉 Please be sure to check out the shower round-up on Amy and Kelsey’s blogs, including contributions by some really great bloggers.
Onto the gumbo from my 30×30 list. I found this recipe by googling Emeril + gumbo. 🙂 I figured he would have a good, authentic recipe. This is the first one that came up, though he also has other versions, including one with seafood. I am more of a chicken and sausage person than a seafood person, anyway, so I went with this. The results? Seriously, seriously delicious.
I’ve always been a huge gumbo fan, though I don’t eat it very often (because I don’t really know of many places with authentic gumbo) and I definitely have never made it before (mostly because of 1. the fat content, of the roux, mainly; 2. the time factor).
Honestly, just smelling this gumbo before I even had a bite, I was positive it was going to be fantastic and at least as good as gumbos I’ve tried, if not better. And I was right in that assumption. It’s incredibly flavorful, hearty, and downright awesome.
This is not a difficult recipe, but it is definitely time-consuming. It takes about 3.5 hours from start to finish, although 2.5 of those hours are simmering so you can do other exciting things, like wash dishes. I’m normally a prep-as-I-go kinda gal (which may not be the best way to do things, but it’s always worked for me), but you’ll definitely want to prep your vegetables ahead of time here, as the roux needs constant stirring and babysitting. I followed the recipe almost exactly, making very few changes, but I did decrease the amount of rice. Emeril calls for 2 cups and I used 1.5, which was more than enough (I also just made mine in water, not stock, since it was already going to be added to the flavorful gumbo).
I’m so happy to have this recipe in my back pocket!
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 cup canola oil
1 lb. smoked sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, cut crosswise into 1/2″ pieces
4 lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 Tbsp. creole/Essence seasoning
1 cup AP flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3 bay leaves
9 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. filé powder
1.5 cups white rice, cooked
hot sauce (optional) for serving
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large enameled Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well-browned, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towels to drain.
Season the chicken thighs with Essence and add to the pot (in batches, if necessary) to brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the chicken, cool slightly, and store in the fridge until later.
In the same pot, combine the remaining oil and flour over medium heat. Stir slowly and constantly until a dark brown roux is formed, that looks chocolatey in color. This will take about 20-25 minutes.
Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes.
Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring, until well combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1.5 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.
Remove the pot from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to take out the chicken thighs. Shred the meat off the bones and add the meat back into the pot, along with the green onions, parsley, and filé powder. Stir to combine.
To serve, spoon rice into bowls and then top with a serving of gumbo. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.