Creamy, Hearty, GUMBO

It’s the start of May and for the last several weeks we have been getting hammered with rain. It’s a typical season of rainy weather before Oklahoma’s scorching hot summer arrives. Although I am a bit tired of these dreary days, I know I’ll be wanting more rain in the middle of July!

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So to make the most of days like this, I like to break out one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s a stick to your ribs kind of food, filling the house with it’s rich smell.  I don’t make this a lot, frankly because it takes a lot more time. It’s one of those meals I have to plan for, or be stuck in the house to make. Which is why it’s so great for rainy days. However, once I know I’m going to make it I can’t wait for it to be done to eat it.

Gumbo….oh how I love you!

This recipe has been adapted from several other recipes I have tried and just didn’t have the flavor I wanted. I’m not sure how true authentic Gumbo is suppose to taste, but I know how want it to taste. Rich, creamy, hearty, and has you full after one bowl.

I’m guessing here….but I would say all together it takes between 1 and 2 hours to make this. That includes the prep work also, so if you have some time and your wanting to make an amazing meal for your family, this should seriously be on your radar!

CHICKEN & SAUSAGE GUMBO

  • 2 lbs Chicken
  • 1 lb or less smoked sausage
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Bell Pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 lb okra
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup bacon fat
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive/vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper
  • cajun creole
  • Gumbo File
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4- 1 cup flour
  • rice

I like to start off by getting everything I need out.

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Then begin with your chicken, cut it into bite size pieces and season it with creole. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Put flour, salt, pepper, creole and garlic powder in a bag and mix.

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While your chicken is resting cut up all your veggies and sausage.

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Now that you have everything prepared are you ready to jump in?

In a large stock pot cook your bacon. I have a small jar of bacon grease at all times but this is always a good excuse to cook bacon!

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Remove cooked bacon and add in your oil. Place your chicken in the bag of flour and shake to coat. Cook your chicken until it’s done. Nice and juicy!

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Remove your chicken and add your remaining flour mixture to the oil. On VERY low heat stir thoroughly. Simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Or if your me just stare at it and stir every 2 minutes.

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This is the MOST important part to making this gumbo the best! Do NOT SCORCH!! The longer this process takes the better to avoid scorching. The end goal is for your roux to be a smooth paste several shades darker than peanut butter.

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Once you have your roux JUST right (smooth and dark) add peppers, onion, garlic, celery and sausage.  Turn your heat up a little and coat everything with the roux and stir until veggies are wilted and onions translucent.

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Add in your bay leaf. Slowly pour in the stock and water, stirring well to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil.

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Add in your chicken and stir. At this point you can let it cook for a while to really soak in your flavors. Then 10-20 minutes before your ready to eat put in your okra and thyme. My okra was frozen so I just wanted it to be hot and still hold it’s form. I don’t like mushy okra in my gumbo. Now you can sprinkle in the Gumbo File and stir well. It’s also great to sprinkle a little in your bowl right before eating it. Just make sure it’s mixed in well.

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I start my rice when I put in the okra so I know everything will be ready at the same time. Right before serving remove the bay leaf and enjoy! This is also great the next day warmed up! After all the cooking I was so ready to eat it I forgot to get the finished picture over the rice! I can promise you though it was amazing!

– The Clucky Hen

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