- One whole chicken
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced. (If they don't have andouille in your area I recommend substituting some kind of spicy pork sausage). You can buy some really killer sausage online, though, if you've got a hankering.
- 2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 5-6 toes of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped (optional)
- 4-5 bouillon cubes
- 3 Tbs oil
- 3 Tbs flour
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- The first step in making a gumbo is making what's known as a roux. Roux is a mixture of browned flour that gives gumbo its earthy flavor and helps thicken the broth. To make a roux, you start with equal parts flour and oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Stir the flour/oil combination continuously until it turns the color of chocolate--about 20 minutes. You can add a little more oil if needed. Note from Joyce: never take your roux for granted. If you burn it, you'll have to throw it out and start all over again.
- Once it reaches a good color, remove it from the heat to cool.
- In an 8 quart stock pot, bring three quarts of water to a boil.
- Add sausage and the chicken to the pot.
- Slowly add your roux to the pot. Note from Joyce: never add your roux all at once--it can have an explosive effect.
- Stir the pot well to make sure the roux is evenly distributed.
- Add the onion, green onions, garlic, celery, and bell pepper. Note from Joyce: you don't have to add the bell pepper, but if I have one, I like to use it.
- Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and a 1/4 tsp of cayenne. You can add more to taste, but this is a good starting point. Note from Joyce: Sausage adds a lot of flavor to the broth so you want to go slowly with the seasoning.
- Add enough water to the pot until it's two inches from the top.
- Add bouillon cubes.
- Within 45 minutes everything will be cooked through and you can tweak your seasoning.
- At this point you can pull the chicken out, pull the meat off and put it back in the pot. Throw the bones away or save them for a stock. Note from Joyce: You can remove the chicken at this point if you're serving it right away. If you're cooking it for later then keep the chicken in longer. I like to cook my gumbos the day before and pull the bones out right before serving.
Gumbos can be frozen for a good long while in your freezer.
We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner complete with gumbo. Charlie really seemed to understand the opening of gifts, examining them, etc. His favorite present was the ten dollar cheap-o keyboard I bought him from Hellmart at the last minute. His uncle got him this tricycle and I have a feeling we're going to get a lot of wear out of it although he's a little obsessed with chewing on the handle bars. A little Christmas napkin took care of that!
I hope you have a lovely Christmas if that's your thing and if not, well, enjoy the time off of work. Merry Christmas.