I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mardi Gras next Tuesday (Feb. 28) than consuming a big bowl of hearty and delicious gumbo with chicken and sausage plus lots of vegetables and aromatics. The recipe makes enough for a crew too, so let the good times roll!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

from Southern Living

Ingredients:
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 10 oz. cut okra (frozen okra will work fine)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 ribs celery with leaves, sliced
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 12 chicken thighs
  • 1 pound cooked andouille sausage or kielbasa*, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 16 oz. whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion greens
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, or to taste
  • 12 cups cooked white rice
 
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together onions, okra, bell pepper, celery, 1/4 cup parsley, garlic, bay leaves, salt, thyme, cayenne, black pepper and allspice. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, cook chicken in batches over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes a side; transfer to a large bowl. Cook sausage in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly until lightly browned, about 6 minutes; transfer to bowl with chicken. Pour fat from Dutch oven into a glass measure and add enough vegetable oil to equal 2/3 cup. Pour into Dutch oven and heat over medium-low heat, scraping up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until it is a very dark, rich brown, about 30 minutes; be careful not to burn it.
  3. Add broth all at once and scrape up any browned bits. In another bowl, blend tomato paste with 2 cups water and stir into broth with chopped tomatoes. Add reserved vegetables, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, until thickened.
  4. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup parsley, scallion greens and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
  5. Serve gumbo on top of rice in bowls.

*use any smoked sausage you prefer