First attempt at some Chicken and Sausage Gumbo!
One of the things that I love about living in a small town is that your neighbors tend to care about you. My in-laws have a nice lady who lives next door to them, always hanging bags of fresh from the garden veggies on their mailbox. The other day she had hung some fresh okra on it, and my in-laws knew that I would want them to spread the love to me as well. One phone call and a trip over had me armed with a bag full of okra. I headed to my kitchen to experiment with a Chicken and Sausage Gumbo I’ve wanted to try.
This recipe comes from a vintage 1967 cookbook my Father-In-Law gave me by Thomas Holmes Jr. titled, Bayou Cook Book: Creole Cooking from the Plantation Country and New Orleans. In it is a recipe for seafood gumbo that I adapted to make this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. I made up three quarts of this deliciousness and took it over to my mom and dad’s house for an evening of 42 dominoes. While I was there, I learned some very interesting things.
My mom started telling me about my Aunt Georgia that was the best Cajun cook she had ever met, and how she would use the “holy trinity” and her iron skillet every time she made anything Cajun. The only holy trinity I had ever heard of had to do with religion, and it now made sense as to why I just couldn’t seem to get my roux to the copper penny color that I wanted. Momma says that Aunt Georgia never used oil in her roux, that she only used her iron skillet and some flour. I am going to have to try that next time.
My dad commented that my gumbo wasn’t brown enough, so my mom said the iron skillet was a must and that the flour needs to be cooked to the color of an old copper penny, but not black. A burnt roux will ruin the recipe every single time. To fix my coloring problem my mom grabbed some Kitchen Bouquet from her cabinet. She said it is what she always used when her gravy or anything else wasn’t the color she wanted. I would have let her doctor my Gumbo if it hadn’t expired in 2016! But it does sound like something I want to add to my cooking arsenal.
For those who don’t know, the holy trinity of cajun cooking is the combination of onion, celery, and peppers that you put in almost every cajun dish. Wow, I love it when I learn something new.
Here is the adapted recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with the additional tips for future renditions.
|PREP: 20 minutes||COOK: 1 hour||YIELD: 3 Quarts|
- Vegetable oil to cover the bottom of an iron skillet
- ½ cup of flour
- ½ chopped onion (1 cup)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped red or green peppers
- 2 cups sliced Miillers Smoked Sausage
- 2 quarts water
- 1 quart of chicken broth
- 3 cups cubed chicken breast
- 1 cup sliced okra
- 1 Tablespoon Simply Maurie Kays Cajun Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups cooked rice
- In a large iron skillet, heat oil, and brown the flour until it is the color of an old copper penny. Browning will take some time and make sure you do not burn the flour.
- Stir in the holy trinity (onions, celery, and peppers). Since bell peppers tend to go bad on me, I keep a jar of roasted red peppers on hand and use them.
- Add the sliced sausage.
– You may need to transfer to a larger pot if your iron skillet doesn’t hold 3 quarts of liquid plus the chicken.
- Stir while slowly adding the water and the chicken broth. The first quart is the most important to stir in slowly, so lumps won’t form.
- Add the cubed raw chicken breast and the sliced okra.
- Add the Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaf (make sure you remove the bay leaf before serving).
- Boil, and then simmer for 45 minutes or longer before serving over some cooked rice.