Fall is arriving slowly, but surely, here in North Alabama. The last few days have been rainy, cool, and dreary. Yesterday seemed the perfect stay in and cook gumbo day. I had purchased some andouille sausage in New Orleans months ago and it had been waiting in the freezer for its opportunity to shine. This recipe is entirely a lovely original. I hope you enjoy.
All good gumbos begin with the roux. The secret to a great roux is patience. It can take up to 25 - 30 minutes of continuous stirring to reach the proper color. If you slip and let it burn, toss it and start over. It's the only way.
For the roux:
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup flour
For the gumbo:
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 - 2 T. Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 t. dried oregano
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced in half lengthwise, and the cubed
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 quarts chicken stock (let stock simmer in another pot until needed)
2 bay leaves
1 pound okra, ends trimmed and sliced
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Cooked white rice
First make the roux:
Heat the peanut oil in a large, thick-bottomed Dutch oven. I used my 7 1/4 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. Let the peanut oil heat for a minute or two and then whisk in the flour and lower the heat to medium low. Stir, and stir, and stir. For this recipe I let it cook for about 25 minutes until the roux was the color of peanut butter.
At this point add the onions, bell pepper, and celery. Stirring constantly, let vegetables cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Now add the garlic, seasoning, and oregano. Let this cook about 1 minute and add sausage and chicken and stirring constantly let sausage brown and chicken cook for about 5 minutes.
Begin to ladle the stock into the gumbo a few ladles at a time. Add the bay leaves and okra and reduce heat to low.
Let gumbo simmer for one hour or several hours. The longer it cooks the thicker the gumbo will be. When ready to serve, remove bay leaves and add the parsley and stir to combine.
Ladle into serving bowls and add a few spoonfuls of white rice and a sprinkling of green onions on top. Serve with toasted French bread.