Just in time for Mardi Gras, here’s a wonderfully authentic recipe for Gumbo that’s also perfect for warming up in the cold raw March weather.

Chicken Andouille Sausage Gumbo

recipe from Jessica Gavin – Culinary Scientist

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken, boneless skinless breast and thigh recommended
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound okra, 1-inch slices (cut and frozen if fresh is not available)
  • 1/2 cup water, to cook the okra
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups bell pepper,  diced, green and red
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces Andouille sausage, cooked, sliced
  • bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or chili pepper (use less for lower spiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 tablespoon gumbo file  (Artisano’s carries it)

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, add chicken breast and thighs and cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring water to a boil, then simmer until fully cooked about 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Strain the water and reserve.
  3. Remove the cooked chicken from the pot, and allow to cool. Once cooled, shred chicken into smaller pieces, cover and set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the okra and ½ cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 7-9 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. In a large pot, combine ½ cup unsalted butter and ½ cup flour. Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring with a whisk to make a dark brown roux, about 15 minutes. Make sure to stir the last 5 minutes of cooking consistently, so the roux does not burn.
  6. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add cooked okra, tomatoes, and sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
  9. Add 4 cups of the reserved strained water from the cooked chicken, mix well. You may add more water depending on how thick you want the gumbo.
  10. Simmer over medium-low heat, for approximately 30 minutes with the pot loosely covered, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add cooked shredded chicken and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
  12. Turn off the heat, and slowly stir in the file. Do not reboil after adding in the file as this tends to make the gumbo stringy. Taste gumbo and season with more salt or pepper as desired. Serve over steamed rice. Makes 6 servings.
  13. Transfer the okra to a colander to drain the water and reserve the cooked okra.

I wouldn’t hesitate to add shrimp to this if you’re so inclined and corn wouldn’t hurt it a bit.

Get your Andouille sausage from Old Major Market. Try some smoked sea salt from Circle City Smoke, and make a trip to Artisano’s shop on 86th Street for file gumbo seasoning. Then, “laissez le bon temps rouler!”