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Chicken and sausage gumbo


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I made this on Sunday. It's verra nahce!

INGREDIENTS/SHOPPING LIST:

6 pieces adobo-cut chicken thigh meat (500 to 600 grams) and 1 whole large chicken breast (or the faster way: use two deskinned, deboned lechon manoks. Save the skins and bones for chicken stock.)

2 packages of Hungarian sausages (or German smoked sausages or kielbasas), around 400 grams

(optional: 6 cans of chicken broth, preferably low sodium, instead of making your own from scratch)

1 large green bell pepper

1 large yellow or orange bell pepper

1 small bunch of celery

1 large white onion

1 medium purple onion

1 1/2 heads/bulbs of garlic

2 large siling espadas (sword peppers)

3 large siling labuyos or birdseye peppers

1 or 2 bunches of small okra pods

Fresh parsley, chopped: about 3 or 4 tablespoons

5 or 6 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of dried thyme (or 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme), mixed herbs and/or Italian herbs (the latter two contain thyme among other things)

200 grams flour (1 small box)

1 cup of oil, more or less

4 chicken broth cubes

Salt, pepper

2 teaspoons ground white pepper

A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

A few dashes of Savor liquid seasoning or Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of patis (fish sauce)

Rice

 

STOCK:

I did mine the "long way" using the raw chicken breast and made my own stock. Wash the chicken breast and put in a pot along with the purple onion, peeled and quartered; six or seven cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed; three or four celery tops with leaves or one stalk of celery cut into thirds; 1 chicken broth cube, two teaspoons of salt and 2 liters of water. Heat on high until it just starts to boil then lower heat and simmer for at least an hour, turning the chicken breast over every so often so it cooks completely. Taste it after ten minutes: if the celery flavor seems overpowering remove the celery then continue cooking. Cook until the breast meat can be easily removed from the bone (test with a fork). Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the skin from the chicken breast and pull all the meat from the bones like pulled pork. Strain and reserve the stock. Put the skin, bones and veggies back in the pot (the celery too), add another liter of water and another broth cube plus a little salt and make a second batch of stock.  Strain and reserve it as well. (If you're using lechon manoks just use the skins and bones with 3 broth cubes, salt and 3 liters of water and make just the one batch of stock.)

 

PREP:

There's a French culinary term, mise en place, pronounced "meese on plah" that means "put in place". Professional chefs know it quite well: it means having all of your ingredients purchased and prepared well ahead of time, so when it's time to cook all you have to do is cook: you don't have to be chopping vegetables at the same time you're trying to watch something that's already cooking on the stove, for example, because they've already been peeled and chopped. It's very important when cooking Chinese stir-fry where everything happens very fast, and also when making a roux for gumbo which has to be stirred constantly for a long time.

Remove the seeds and cores from your peppers (except the labuyos) and chop into smallish pieces. Peel and chop the white onion. Trim the ends off of the okra pods and slice them up. Wash and slice four celery stalks, discarding the large white ends near where the roots would be as it's kind of bitter. Set aside these vegetables.

Peel and chop or crush one head of garlic, around 10 to 12 cloves. Set aside. Do not mix them with the other veggies as garlic has a low smoke point (it burns easily) and must be added later than the others.

Slice your sausages and set them aside.

Brown your thigh meat in a non-stick skillet, lightly on both sides, about 10 minutes per side. Set the meat aside and deglaze the skillet with around 1/2 cup of water or beer, scraping it to remove all of the "fond", the little crunchy bits. Set the deglazing liquid aside. (Skip this step if you're using lechon manok.)

 

ROUX:

Open a beer if you want one. Go have a smoke if you're a smoker. Use the CR. Kiss your SO. Take care of everything you need to do. You're going to be stuck at the stove for a good while. Have all of your vegetables, your garlic and your sausage slices nearby ready to add.

In a heavy pot like a Dutch oven or a heavy skillet (frying pan) which is completely dry to avoid spattering you with hot oil, blend the flour with enough oil to make a smooth, slightly runny slurry. Stir well to break up all the lumps. Put it over a medium-high flame and cook it, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until it's very bubbly. If it seems like the flour's being boiled in oil turn the heat down. It should just be foamy but no large bubbles. Keep cooking and stirring. After about 10 or 15 minutes the rough will turn a tan color, a blonde roux. Keep going. Gumbo needs a dark roux. Cajuns like to cook theirs until it's the color of chocolate. I don't like mine quite that dark: a nice reddish-brown about the color of a somewhat-tarnished copper coin is fine by me. The entire process will take from 30 to 45 minutes. NEVER WALK AWAY FROM YOUR ROUX! Keep stirring so it's always in motion. It only takes a second for the flour to scorch. If you see little black specks in it you've burned it and have to throw it out and start all over. Besides stirring constantly you need to keep on top of your heat: even with constant stirring it can still scorch if the heat's too high, and if it's too low the roux will take forever to darken.

 

GUMBO:

When the roux is dark enough, if you used a skillet transfer it to a large pot. Stir in your vegetable mixture and sausage slices and cook, stirring, for around 5 minutes to "sweat" the vegetables and let them cook a bit. Now add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes. The roux is still cooking too and gets even darker. That's why I consider it ready when it's just a reddish nut-brown color.

Add the chicken and stir in the deglazing liquid to make a thick gravy then stir in the chicken stock. Stir it in slowly to avoid getting lumps. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of salt, a tablespoon of black ground pepper (25 to 30 grinds of fresh-ground pepper), the ground white pepper, 2 chicken broth cubes, the bay leaves and the thyme or herb mixture(s). Add the patis, some hot sauce and some seasoning or Worcestershire sauce. Give it a good stir.

Bring to a medium simmer, what Chef Isaac Toups calls "burblin'": a few bubbles breaking on the surface but not boiling. Cover and cook, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours. The meat from the chicken should have all fallen off the bone and mostly fallen apart into little strings of chicken meat, thickening the gumbo and ensuring that you get chicken in every bite. If the thigh meat is still in large pieces it's OK to cut them up smaller with the edge of your stirring spoon.

Add the chopped parsley after an hour. Cook yourself a pot of rice.

After the gumbo has cooked (and you can't really overcook a gumbo) turn the heat off, taste it and adjust the seasonings if it needs it (i.e. more salt) and let it rest and cool for about 30 to 60 minutes.

Serve it in bowls over the top of cooked rice. Cajuns often like to eat gumbo with American-style potato salad instead of rice. You can too, if you can find some potato salad (or make your own.)

Serves 8 (or 4 hungry Cajuns.)

Note: if you happen to run across a jar of shucked small oysters in their liquor, adding it in the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time adds a wonderful flavor component.

Disclaimer: I'm from Washington State and have never even been to Louisiana, and I still think my gumbo rocks! I'd put it up against anyone else's, any time.

Edited by Jay
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jtmwatchbiz
1 hour ago, Jay said:

Disclaimer: I'm from Washington State and have never even been to Louisiana, and I still think my gumbo rocks! I'd put it up against anyone else's, any time.

i have been to louisiana a few times when i was the driver for a touring drag race team and i can say those cajuns welcomed us northerners like we were their neighbors and would most definitely be pleased with your passion for their food.  :)

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Actually I think two lechon manoks would be too much chicken. More like one plus whatever's leftover from a second one that you've had for dinner would probably be more like it. Or just use two and add a third package of sausages, or something.

This is Isaac Toups' take on the dish. While his video is entertaining and informative, I think my gumbo's better than his. He sears his chicken for too long which makes the thighs hold together during cooking. I like it when the chicken more or less dissolves into little strings of meat all through it, which mine pretty much did due to just browning it lightly rather than giving them a "good hard sear" as he says. But anyway:

 

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Alfred E. Neuman

My sister lives in Louisiana but we haven‘t communicated for years!

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Salty Dog
10 hours ago, Jay said:

Actually I think two lechon manoks would be too much chicken. More like one plus whatever's leftover from a second one that you've had for dinner would probably be more like it. Or just use two and add a third package of sausages, or something.

This is Isaac Toups' take on the dish. While his video is entertaining and informative, I think my gumbo's better than his. He sears his chicken for too long which makes the thighs hold together during cooking. I like it when the chicken more or less dissolves into little strings of meat all through it, which mine pretty much did due to just browning it lightly rather than giving them a "good hard sear" as he says. But anyway:

I followed the video to the YouTube channel Munchies. Very interesting and unique cooking videos. 

MUNCHIES is a website and digital video channel from VICE dedicated to food and its global purpose. Launched in 2014, MUNCHIES offers groundbreaking content from a youth driven perspective. In today's modern world, the formerly tangible pleasures of music, film, and emerging media are just one click away. Food and the events that manifest around it are one of the everlasting experiences that cannot be replicated by arcs and zeroes. MUNCHIES chronicles the wide spectrum of the global culinary experience and the diverse voices that are pulling us forward: chefs and home cooks, makers and consumers, the politics and policies of food, "front" and "back of house" restaurant life, old wives tales and innovative news, and culturally significant indicators in our modern world. Through engaging original video content, compelling editorial features, articles, how-tos, recipes and events, MUNCHIES offers a signature perspective on the intersection where humans and food connect.
 

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