The weather around here has been crazy … 70 one day and 40 the next, and we can’t seem to have a cold snap long enough to have good soup weather. Not that I’m complaining, because I’d rather be enjoying porch weather. But there was some lovely okra at the farmer’s market the other day and that inspired me to make gumbo. I experimented a bit, going to a few recipes for ideas, and I really like how this came out.
Note: All amounts and cooking times are approximate. Gumbo is just a soup with a particular flavor profile, you don’t have to be exact. Also note, this is not authentic, but rather an amalgamation of other recipes I have adapted. Yes, I know some people say gumbo shouldn’t have tomatoes, and some say you don’t need okra with filé powder, but this is how I like it!
Nancy’s Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Dark Roux (I use Alton’s oven technique: 4T oil & 4T flour in 350degree oven for 1.5 hrs – stir 3 or 4 times. Otherwise dark or brick roux is pretty labor intensive to make. Some people do buy this instead.)
- 2-3 onions, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 – 1.5 bell peppers, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
~ 2 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs
.5 to 1 lb andouille sausage
1 T tomato paste
- 1 T thyme
- 2 teas paprika
- ½ teas cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teas garlic powder
- 1 teas onion powder
- 1 teas black pepper
~ 1 ½ cup whole tomatoes in juice (or diced)
6 cups chicken broth
2-3 cups sliced fresh okra (I like lots)
1 T filé powder*
- Prepare your dark roux a few hours before if you’re using the oven method– I do mine in a big enameled cast iron pot, big enough to hold the final gumbo.
- In a separate pan, quickly brown the whole thighs in olive oil in batches, then chop into chunks and remove from pan. They should still be pretty raw.
- Then cook onion, celery & bell peppers (trinity) till soft and golden.
- Move your trinity to the roux pot (on medium heat) and add, garlic, tomato paste, and spices and cook together for a few minutes. Add tomato and chicken.
- While that’s cooking, slice your sausage and brown it in the other pan.
- Add your chicken broth and simmer for about 15 min.
- Taste, add salt/pepper/time as needed.
- Add your sausage and okra to the big pot, and simmer for about 10 more min.
- Turn off the heat, stir in your filé powder and let sit covered for 10 min.
Serve with chopped green onions, rice [I really just a small amount of ( totally inauthentic ) basmati rice], & hot sauce.
*If you have a hard time finding filé powder (which is actually ground sassafrass root) — I know we have readers from all over the world– you can skip it. It’s a nice to have, but if you’ve got everything else it will still be yummy.