Saturday, March 16, 2013
Rick's Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
With the chill in the air and the days getting shorter, it's that time of year when a nice, rich bowl of New Orleans style gumbo really hits the spot. Its been a long time since I traveled to New Orleans on a business trip, but the Cajun food there is simply the best in the world. I remember a restaurant called "The Gumbo Shop" at 630 Saint Peter Street in the French Quarter where I had my first bowl of Chicken and Andouille Gumbo. The Choctaw Indians introduced powdered sassafras or file' which they called “kombo” to settlers as a staple for one of many styles of the indigenous soup called gumbo (from the African word “kingumbo” meaning the vegetable okra.) A gumbo usually contains either file' powder or okra as a thickener. Just as gumbo is a blend of many cultures, so is the origin of the word. However, the base of most gumbos is a “roux” – flour and fat cooked together until deep brown to provide an almost nutty flavor. So here is my take on a classic New Orleans gumbo. I know you will enjoy it.
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, chopped
32 ounces chicken broth
2 tsp Rick’s Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning
3 Andouille sausages (choose your spicy preference) cut into 3/8 inch pieces, cooked
3 large chicken breasts cut into 1-1/4” chunks
1 Tbs Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbs gumbo file’ powder (a thickener made from ground sassafrass root)
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut and dice the onion,
green bell pepper
and celery. Cut the three chicken breasts into cubes.
Cut the Andouille sausage into 3/8” pieces
Heat 3 Tbs of canola oil in a large Dutch oven until just smoking.
Season the chicken with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and add the chicken to the pot.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is nicely browned,
then add the sliced Andouille sausage pieces.
Continue cooking until the chicken and sausage is browned then turn off the heat and remove the meat and juices to a bowl.
Heat ½ cup of canola oil over medium-high until it shimmers,
then add an equal amount of flour.
Whisk the flour and oil together and cook until a roux begins to form. Be careful not to splash any of this “Cajun Napalm” on you!!! (3rd degree burns are BAD!)
Constantly (and I mean it, because it will burn in an instant!) whisk the roux for several minutes. It will slowly start changing color as the flour cooks and first becomes a “blond” roux.
Keep whisking and cooking until it becomes a deep brown “chocolate” roux. If you aren’t be careful, it will burn and you will have to throw it out and start over.
Toss in the diced green pepper, onion and celery and constantly stir for about five minutes until all the vegetables are coated with the roux.
Pour in the chicken broth,
add the Cajun seasoning,
Use my Rick’s Ragin’ Cajun Rub, for best results.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, and fresh minced garlic.
Add the pre-cooked chicken pieces and sausages back to the pot.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans,
then add the gumbo file’ powder. Paul Prudhomm’s brand is widely available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
And tomato paste and stir thoroughly until incorporated..
Simmer for an additional 15 to 30 minutes until thickened to your liking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cider vinegar to brighten the taste.
Ladle the finished gumbo into bowls and serve with French bread to sop up the juice. Add some hot sauce or a dollop of sour cream if desired. Enjoy