Saturday, June 7, 2008

I'll Have the Sausage and Chicken Gumbo…Hold the Gumbo

My "Big Easy" cooking kick continues with this delicious sausage and chicken gumbo video recipe. Now, I must admit to serious okra aversion issues. I don’t like the taste, the texture, or the appearance - other than that I think it's a great vegetable. So, you can imagine what I felt like when I learned that the word "gumbo" actually means "okra."

Many people believe that okra is the primary thickening agent in gumbo, but in actuality it's the roux. Sure, the okra does help thicken the stew with its slimy goodness, but it's the brown roux that is the main player. Some recipes call for file powder, which is made from ground sassafras leaves. It's added at the end of the cooking, and not only helps thicken, but adds a interestingly sweet flavor. I'm not using that either.

As a special treat, you'll also hear from famous New Orleans chef, Emeril Lagasse. Apparently, he is a big fan of the site, and his people called my people, and begged me to let him provide some color commentary on a video. Aw, yeah babe. Enjoy!




Ingredients:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup flour
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 oz Andouille sausage, or other spicy, smoked sausage
3 cloves garlic, crushed fine
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups chicken broth, or as needed
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup minced green onions
Okra photo (c) Flickr user Kanko

46 comments:

foofifofum said...

Too funny! Bam!, this dish sounds good.

PS Proof Chef John is adept @ voice over!

blackirondude said...

That was funny!

Embrace the Okra...

Fits of laughter said...

Never heard you quite so sarcastic before! Keep it up.

Chef John said...

Thanks, and that was a great comment. Really great.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the okra thing, but my son and husband LOVE it in Gumbo, so to your viewers who have never tried it, I suugest they try it at least once... you never know. Adding it won't ruin the Gumbo and those who don't like it can pick it out, and those who do like it can go crazy.

Chef John said...

i agree! that's a sensible idea. all foods MUST be tried at least once.

Bill W, NH said...

I'm frustrated, am using a newer computer with Vista and it won't let me download Adobe Flash Player, Anybody got any ideas?

I sure would like to see this video. Talk about coincidences, we were making my gumbo recipe last night and Sue noted to me that Alton Brown on the Food Network was making gumbe, and now, I get up this morning and here's Gumbo again!!!

Okra, yummmy. Never ever use canned okra, buy the 16oz frozen and throw it in your gumbo when you are 5 minutes from being done, it will be nice, crisp, and very green and should be edible for all but the pickiest people. For this size recipe 8oz would be plenty. I also toss in shrimp with 3 mins cook time remaining, again 8oz would be good for this recipe.

Now, back to me, help!!! I need the player.

noble pig said...

Funny! But this looks so good! I'm in need for a "big easy" something or other!

Chef John said...

Bill, here is the link to the Youtube version. that may work OK.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhUD4e8Ktpc

Bill W, NH said...

thanks there Chef!!! But, I still need a solution - anyone???

Bill Gates said...

Buy a Mac.

michelle @ TNS said...

i love gumbo, but am totally with you on the okra thing. this looks tasty!

PrimeBrit said...

I'm on a Mac... Nothing better... Oh, except Chef's creations. At least I can see 'em prepared though. No issues here PC..?

Anonymous said...

couple of questions...many in louisiana talk about a coffee colored roux that gives the gumbo the actual flavor - your vid shows a very light peanut colored roux. Also if one were to add okra, for the proportions mentioned in this recipe,how much would you add? Thoughts? thx.

Chef John said...

yes, many gumbos are done with roux ranging from blond to almost black. I just prefer something in the middle. Authentic recipes do use a darker roux. You have to experiment to see what you like. I think a large handful of okra, cut up, would be plenty.

Don Dailey said...

Love the Emeril bit ... you make me smile!

Anonymous said...

I made it last night and my wife almost cried when she learned that there were no left overs. Too freaking good!

Ann Marie said...

Chef, you're definitely missing out. The liquid is the best part! You gotta soak a piece of french bread in it..mmm mmmm. The liquid is much more flavorful if you use left over gravy. Growing up, my mom would freeze left over gravy and then use that as the base instead of chicken stock or water. Also, throw in a left over hambone or turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. Gumbo would sit on our stove all day cooking and stewing. The house would smell wonderful! Anyhoo, it's too hot to eat gumbo this time of year, but this is my favorite post-Thanksgiving meal. Thanks for posting some cajun/creole recipes!

Sally Kate said...

Hey chef... First, thanks for a great site. I love everything. I especially love the scallops and leeks and your version of parm. chicken. Also, the caramel chicken was a huge hit with my husband, minus half of the jal. peppers. Quick question... why do you use a veg. oil and flour base instead of butter and flour? Just curious! Again, thanks for a yummy site!

Chef John said...

Thanks! The oil is used since the roux cooks much longer than usual. You want a neutral fat that wont flavor the roux, and possibly give a off taste.

Sally Kate said...

Sorry chef.. I'm such an idiot. You clearly explained the reasoning behind the oil versus butter in the first minute of your video. Sorry to waste your time!

Chef John said...

No worries! BTW, the fact youre a fan of the site means you couldn't be an idiot!

Anonymous said...

LOL...you're always funny chef. I'm gonna be a groupie of yours! LOL...

Chef John said...

thanks! I need groupies.

Anonymous said...

when you say no olive oil just plain oil... what kind is it?

Chef John said...

just a neutral vegetable oil like canola oil

NecrochildK said...

Oh my...! You're clearly not from cajun or even creole country, are you? ::drops her face in her hands, shaking her head:: Nooo! You poor man, no offense! But for one, you're serving it up wrong, there should be much more gumbo versus rice in the bowl, it should be the consistancy of stew, not rice and gravy. Two, boneless meat?! Skinless, yes, reduces the fat and oils in the gumbo, but boneless?! That's where all the flavor comes from! You get the richest taste from chicken WITH bones, man!

Chef John said...

yes, everything you've said is true. But, if you've been coming to this blog for a while then you know I don't always make authentic dishes, but modified for home cooks, faster versions, etc.

AceTravis said...

It says 6 chicken thighs, but about how many lbs is that?

Chef John said...

not sure, maybe a 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

Thomas P said...

fortune has provided me with a ton of fresh CSA veggies including OKRA. I'm kind of an okra-phobe myself, but it would be a shame to let all this super fresh organic stuff go to waste. Is it a good idea to just add okra to the above recipe? Or should I try a different gumbo recipe? what do you think Chef?

Chef John said...

it won't hurt this recipe, I just don't like the texture

Anonymous said...

Can you use cornstarch instead of a roux?

Chef John said...

No!!! :-)

Wandmaker said...

It was raining ice and snow outside today, so I decided I would make gumbo. It was awesome! I used fresh andouille which I browned, but I think next time I might use the precooked kind. I also quickly browned the chicken thighs whole in the andouille fat, braised them in the gumbo during the last 30 min simmer, and then shredded them, which made the chicken very tender and gave the gumbo a wonderful thicker texture. It was velvety and smooth and just beautiful. Thanks Chef John!

Quanthor said...

How did you get your roux so thick? I did half oil and half flour but it looks more oily and less blended than yours. Help?

Chef John said...

No idea, but relax, rouxs are not an exact science. Throw a little more in.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how, but my roux separated. I cooked it to a chocolate color and everything was fine until I dumped the broth in.

lane said...

Just made this tonight, it was magnificent! I wanted to make the Duck Gumbo but no one in Seattle had duck legs (what?).

Thanks for this recipe Chef John. This will be my go to gumbo recipe from now on.

Ahem, I did add okra to mine (meh, next time probably wouldn't do it, I see why you don't add it in to yours)

We definitely "enjoyed!"

Angelina said...

Can I use a nonstick pot to cook the roux? Thanks! :) Also, I made the jambalaya and it was delicious!

Chef John said...

yes!

J W said...

First off this recipe looks delicious! Being born in bayou country and growing up with a cajien grandmother, I have to agree with Ann Marie about the presentation. Your gumbo is more along the lines of a traditional creole (thicker and lighter roux). The only change in ingredients I would suggest for flavor and consistency is file (dried sassafras leaves), which also helps to thicken (without okra) the gumbo. Gumbo is different from parish to parish and family to family. In general though, it should resemble stew and be served in a larger ratio to rice. Keep on cooking and bon temps roler!

cookinmom said...

Man, you DO like that hot sauce just like my husband (at the end)...hot dish chef!!!!

Capt Chris said...

I live in Costa Rica...in the middle of the jungle on the Osa Peninsula. Ingredients can be, scarce. This was a fun recipe! I used a "set your hair on fire" locally made spicy pork sausage and fresh caught shrimp and it was amazing! Thanks Chef John...this cooking thing is a new hobby for me and your site, videos, and instruction have helped me create some of the most delicious meals I have ever had, and share them with friends! Thank you...and Pura Vida!

aijiko said...

The way I was taught to make Gumbo, it wasn't done until the okra was literally dissolved. I don't see how it could be a significant thickener otherwise. So for me, not liking okra was never a problem because there was nothing left to pick out. That is why we used frozen cut okra, because this process takes less time than using fresh.

Millie in VA said...

Yesterday I made this for dinner. I wanted to add some okra but the grocery store didn't have any. So I made this recipe as written. It was delicious! Husband gave a thumbs up (too busy eating to speak). I will definitely make again. Thanks, Chef!