Before we get going on this, let it be known that everyone who cooks gumbo has their own style and recipe–just like chili. There are also several different kinds of gumbo and today we are cooking chicken and andouille (ahn DOO wee) gumbo.
Get you a nice heavy or stainless steel sauce pot and warm it up. Cover the bottom with your favorite oil. Add 2-3 medium onions chopped. Simmer on medium, stirring very often. We call this “browning” the onions, although they don’t really get brown unless you don’t tend to your pot and they burn!
TIP: A good bayou cook always tends to her/his pots.
When the onions are clear, add about 6-8 celery stalks, chopped and continue to stir and saute`. When the celery starts to soften, add one large bell pepper chopped and 3 cloves of garlic chopped. Continue to stir and saute`.
TIP: All good bayou cooks bang the spoon on the side of the pot. If your family doesn’t hear that banging sound, they know you’re goofing off in the kitchen!
In bayou or Cajun cooking, onions, celery, and bell pepper are referred to as “the trinity”. So, when your trinity (plus garlic) looks like the above photo, it’s time to add a little hot water to help the veggies break down and blend a little more making a nice base.
TIP: A good bayou cook always has the kettle on the back burner full of hot water, thereby not cooling down the base when adding water.
Next add your chicken, cut into small pieces. I used two boneless, skinless thighs and 2 boneless, skinless breasts. In the not too distant past (and some folks still do this) folks would cut up a whole chicken, rendering the fat from the skin to use for browning the veggies. Or they would boil the chicken and make their own stock. However, I do it the healthier, easier way. (I’m sure someone is going to let me know that I’m cheating, though!)
When the chicken looks like the above photo, it’s time to add this sausage.
Said in pure love and jest, in case you Yankees can’t get your hands on andouille, you can use any kind of smoked sausage. And I guess Polska Kielbasa would do in a pinch! Slice it thinly, add to pot, and continue to saute` on low stirring often and don’t forget to BANG THAT SPOON!
After about, oh, ten minutes more, add about 16 ounces of fat-free chicken broth. Add more hot water to desired thickness.
After stirring well, taste for flavor. The andouille is chock full of flavor and seasonings, which will impart to the liquid as it simmers. The broth and sausage both add salt, so there is no need for more salt unless your broth is weak. If you want more kick, then add cayenne pepper to taste and a couple dashes of black pepper, too.
Add a half a bunch of chopped green onions. This is a “secret” tip. Lower the fire/heat as low as it will go, cover, and let simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve over a bed of rice with a side salad and warm crusty French bread. Some folks like to add file` at this point, but this gumbo was delish without!
I look forward to hearing everyone else’s variations to this bayou staple–gumbo.
- 3 medium onions chopped
- 6 stalks celery chopped
- 1 large bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 chicken breasts and 2 thighs
- 1 pound andouille or smoked sausage sliced thinly
- 16 ounces chicken broth
- 1/2 bunch green onions chopped
- Cover the bottom of a heavy duty pot with your favorite oil.
- Add the onions.
- Simmer on medium, stirring very often.
- When the onions are clear, add the celery and continue to stir and saute.
- When the celery starts to soften, add the bell pepper and garlic.
- Continue to stir and saute.
- Add a little hot water to help the veggies break down and blend a little more making a nice base.
- Add the chicken, cut into small pieces.
- When the chicken is no longer pink, add the sausage.
- Continue to saute on low heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and more hot water to desired thickness.
- Add the green onions.
- Lower the fire/heat as low as it will go, cover, and let simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.
BB is down and we are working hard to knock out the “punch list” for Camp Dularge. The gumbo pot is empty.
Cooking and working,