Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken Gumbo - Filé Gumbo



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had a small, surprising triumph tonight. Before going any further, I want to extend an apology to any of my Southern friends who might find my victory lap or bow a bit premature. I stepped into their territory, if not their kitchens, and made gumbo tonight. Despite my years in the kitchen, this was a first for me. I love gumbo, but I found the making of roux off-putting. Armed with great directions, which you can find here, I decided to give it a try and I think I did alright. I made minor alterations to a recipe developed by Emeril Lagasse and was really pleased with the results. My only caution is that you need time to make this. It really is not difficult to prepare, but it needs watching and some of its elements take longer to cook than the recipe would have you believe. Most significantly, it took an hour, rather than 20 minutes, for my roux to become the color of chocolate. The trick is to get it to that chocolate color without burning the roux. If it burns you'll have to toss it. Despite that, I highly recommend this gumbo and hope you will try it. Here's the recipe.


Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound smoked andouille sausage, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces
4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 bay leaves
9 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon filé powder (ground sassafras leaves)- see Cook's Note
.
Cooked white rice
Hot sauce

Directions:
1) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot set over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and drain on paper toweling. Set aside.
2) Season chicken with Creole seasoning. Brown, in batches, using pot in which sausage was cooked. Remove from pan. Let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
3) Add flour and reserved 1/2 cup oil to pan in which chicken and sausage browned. Cook, stirring slowly, for 20 to 25 minutes to make a chocolate colored roux. I had to cook mine for an hour to achieve this color.
4) Add onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly, add chicken stock, and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
5) Add reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to surface.
6) Remove pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken thighs from the gumbo and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard bay leaves. Pull chicken meat from bones and shred, discarding bones. Return meat to gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and filé powder.
7) Spoon rice into bottom of deep bowls or large cups and ladle gumbo on top. Serve with hot sauce if desired. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Cook's Note: File powder has a very earthy flavor that tastes like a combination of thyme and savory. It can be found in the spice aisle of large food chains. The powder comes from grinding dried sassafras leaves. If you would like to make your own filé powder, instructions can be found here. Filé powder is added at the end of cooking to thicken the gumbo. To add it sooner can cause the gumbo to become stringy. It can also be passed and added at the table.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo - The Bake-Off Flunkie
Chicken Gumbo - Louanne's Kitchen
Quick and Easy Sausage and Okra Gumbo - Sing for Your Supper
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo - Felice in the Kitchen
Pancetta and Shrimp Gumbo - Chow and Chatter
Cajun Gumbo Soup - The Teacher Cooks

64 comments:

Adelina said...

Emeril Lagasse is one of my heroes out there!- and yes- roux is tricky!- timewise! Your gumbo looks delightfully rich!

Jhonny walker said...

this looks, feels tastes fantastic. Not only bookmarked...but I wish that time arrived sooner so that I can make this!

Ginny said...

Well, this is one southerner who does not like gumbo. It would be so good if they only left out the okra, but then I see here that you have no okra in this! Am I thinking of the right dish? Perhaps that is some other dish that features okra.

Bridgett said...

Those gorgeous rounds of andouille caught my eye. Yum!

Mickey said...

Had Emeril's gumbo in New Orleans and loved it and your looks absolutely perfect!
mickey

Sushma Mallya said...

yum, nice to have this with hot rice...have a lovely weekend mary,take care

Marguerite said...

Wow, Mary, congrats on making your first gumbo! It looks fantastic! I made my first roux when I was 10 years old! Of course, having Cajun parents really helped! The type of pot used will determine the length of time it takes to darken the roux, and most Cajuns use cast aluminum cookware for this reason. My gumbo recipes are different than this one, but your end result is just beautiful! Cheers!

Silence Sings said...

Hi, Mary I made my first bread from your beginners' bread recipe and it really came out perfect...thanks a lot for the recipe...

This recipe looks very tempting too....bookmarking this too...have a grt days ahead.....

Lisa said...

That bowl of soup looks so good, especially with all that chicken and sausage in it. Where do you get the file leaves?

Lucie said...

Gumbo is so soul-warming--and yours is clearly no exception, Mary! Emeril Lagasse's Southern recipes usually hit the spot for me, although this is a true non-Southerner speaking!

Cherine said...

What a yummy and comforting bowl!!

faith said...

Yum! that gumbo looks delicious! I grew up on the gulf coast so gumbo always looks good to me and often graces my table in the winter---its too much work any other time! I bet you guys are getting excited about your trip!!!Have a wonderful weekend!

Priya said...

Very new dish for me..irresistible dish indeed..

Rita said...

You are so brave; it looks wonderful; I've never tried to make it, but...
Rita

Mariana said...

Mary, looks great and delicious, congratulations my friend and thankyou for your comments in my blog and your prayers, I appreciate your kindness, kisses.

Cheah said...

Never heard of this before, but it looks appetising albeit quite a lot of work involved!

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous gumbo! There is nothing like a big bowl of tasty gumbo. Congrats on braving the roux and making it.. ;-)

Big Dude said...

Looks great Mary and thanks for the roux making link. We have gumbo on the menu in the next few days.

Peanutts said...

wow I have always heard of the famour gumbo but have yet to give a try. looks delicious. Have a nice weekend

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, gumbo is one of those dishes where the end result is worth the time it took to get there!I find many recipes underestimate the times lately- interesting. A gorgeous dish!
xoxo Pattie

Joanne said...

sounds like someone in the editorial department for the Food Network messed up on the times. It happens!

This gumbo sounds fantastic to me! Although I have not a drop of southern blood in my soul.

penny aka jeroxie said...

I only ever have gumbo in a restaurant. And I've read so much about it. It is one of those comforting food, isn't it?

What's next said...

Glad you tried and had success with Gumbo! I never get mine the color of chocolate, I always stop a little before that...growing up in near New Orleans this was a weekly meal in my family but my husband isn't a fan so rarely have it anymore... I may need to make myself some this weekend...

From the Kitchen said...

I'm a southerner--born, raised and educated--transplanted to the midwest. I've made a roux, jambalaya and have eaten crawfish pie--but I've never eaten file gumbo. It was available at a friend's home but I was a teenager and thought it looked a little suspect. I may just have to put it on our table this winter. Kudos for giving it a try.

Best,
Bonnie

Susan C said...

This looks amazingly delicious. I wonder if I'm patient enough to baby sit the roux for an hour.

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Buongiorno Mary :)
un augurio di felice fine settimana nella tua "profumata" cucina !!!
Ciao Myriam :)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I've never heard of the "chocolate colored roux" Interesting! It looks awesome though!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

We, your readers, are never surprised when you have a triumph. And I love your use of the phrase "off putting." I must work that into my vocabulary. I have never had gumbo, nor had the privilege of travelling in the south at all.

Have a lovely weekend, Mary.

Fondly,
Glenda

CaSaundraLeigh said...

This sounds great for the upcoming cool, fall days!

Jenn said...

YAY!!! Congrats for trying something new and succeeding with it. It looks fantastic! I too am a big gumbo fan...mmmmmmmmmm!!!!s

Dishesdone said...

We're having such lousy weather here today, a bowl of your gumbo sounds perfect! Looks delicious!

lostpastremembered said...

Good for you, Mary. The first time I made a seafood gumbo (via Paul Prudhomme) making the fish stock stunk up the entire house the day before! I had to have fans going full blast so my dinner guests wouldn't die... but it tasted amazing. The dark roux is a weird concept but they are right, it adds so much. Your recipe looks great (and not fish stock to make)!

Elsa said...

This looks delicious. I've never made chicken gumbo, so I will have to try this recipe.

Katerina said...

I am sure it tastes great. You did a great job. I will have to try it asap.

PeggyR said...

Will definitely try this one! Sounds wonderful.

Dan said...

This looks great.

I've never heard of ground sassafras leaves before - what type of taste does it add?

Lori said...

I love chicken gumbo. I have not convinced my husband yet though. Maybe your recipe could persuade him.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I'm so proud of you, Mary! I grew up eating gumbo (and I'm talking Louisiana style NOT SC style which is tomato soup as far as I'm concerned) LOL! Now, their "she-crab" soup is excellent (can't be beat!), but just don't serve me something with a tomato base and say it's GUMBO! ;-) A good gumbo must has a brown roux and look like gumbo.

Once you master the roux, you are home free! Not that I have, but that's what all of my family says. And I believe them! They are fine cooks.

On a different note, I just wanted to drop by during my blog break and say "thanks" for the info you left me about a month ago. Has it really been that long since I disappeared? Life just swept me away in its current, but I expect to be back on shore in a week or so. In the mean time, it's nice to catch up with you and see what's cooking in your kitchen.

XO,

Sheila :-)

June said...

Love gumbo as it is proof that patience really does pay off in the kitchen. Looks fabulous Mary. Congratulations!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Mmmmmmmm this looks good. Diane

StephenC said...

As much as I love a good gumbo, it's the kind of thing I would love for someone else to make for me.

Dianne said...

Ahhh...sweet reminder of home! I'm smiling as I read this and getting hungry as well even though I haven't had breakfast yet. I will definitely try this recipe!

Pondside said...

I've never cooked a gumbo - it sounds so southern and so exotic. We have lots of chickens, though, so I'm always glad of a new recipe to try.

Barbara said...

Such a delight, Mary. I've read (and saw recently on Top Chef with Emeril) that cooking the roux is the whole key to a great gumbo.
Thanks so much for the recipe; I've always wanted to try this.

Pam said...

This looks hearty and very tasty Mary.

The Teacher Cooks said...

You did a great job with your roux! Now I am inspired to give it a try. Thanks so much for the link!

Angie's Recipes said...

A hearty and tasty treat!

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, this looks fantastic! So comforting!

Faith said...

I've never made gumbo or even a dark roux...I would love to give it a try though! This dish looks so hearty and comforting, Mary!

bellini valli said...

Way to go Mary.

lily's wai sek hong said...

dearest mary

i hope you will have a good weekend. Your Gumbo has refreshed my mind about a Jambalaya i made a while ago.

you write such lovely comments on my blog and when i visit here, i am speechless.

thanks so much for all the lovely comments you leave in my blog - appreciate them.

Claudia said...

I love gumbo - but somehow it scares me. I think I do not have the genes to do it properly. But I'd take a dish of yours.

Jess @ Bakericious said...

looks mouth-watering.

nancy at good food matters said...

Mary, It always takes me a good hour to make roux--so when I do, I make up a good sized batch, and refrigerate the extra. It will keep that way for a couple of months.

Congratulations from a Southerner!

Amy (Sing For Your Supper) said...

Wow, this is how it's supposed to be done!! YUM!!!

Monet said...

My grandparents come from New Orleans, and I must speak for them and say that they would be proud! This gumbo looks fabulous and the recipe looks spot-on. Thanks for sharing with us Mary. Congrats on your first gumbo experiment too!

scrambledhenfruit said...

We finally got a bit of cooler weather today- perfect for a nice bowl of comfort food like this lovely gumbo!

Spoon and Chopsticks said...

That gumbo looks delicious. Goes well with a bowl of white rice.

Jamie said...

What a coincidence I bought a jar of gumbo flié this last trip to the US and I've been dreaming of gumbo! It looks rich, flavorful and satisfying! Thanks for handing me a gorgeous recipe! xo

Christy said...

i love emeril's creole seasoning..i use it on so many things. i make a gumbo inspired by him too :) i have been cruising around your blog for about 40 minutes this afternoon and am loving it...your photos, recipes and the way you have your blog laid out is all top notch. i will be a regular

Bugeyed Lindsay said...

you're roux looks to be the perfect color and the chunks of meat...to die for.

C'est bon!

MANA said...

I love this recipe.

Cathleen said...

Oh my goodness, this looks fantastic! I would love this on a cold night!

Sheila McCormick said...

I made this gumbo for my family and they loved it. I used boneless/skinless thighs...saved a little time. Thank you for this fabulous recipe. This will be one of my favorite dishes to make, especially for dinner guest.

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