Louisiana declared gumbo as its state cuisine in 2004. Some scholars think gumbo might have been around as early as the 18th century. The word “gumbo” comes from the West African word for okra, “ki ngombo,” as okra was often used in this dish as a thickening agent.
This rich stew starts with a roux (flour and oil/butter), followed by what Louisianans lovingly refer to as the “trinity” (onions, peppers
and celery). From there, variations abound: some are heavy on the seafood, some favor chicken or pork, and there is even a vegetable version for Lent.
We’ve brought you an adaptation of Emeril Lagasse’s gumbo recipe. We have made it too many times to count. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of time it takes to make, most of it is hands-off and it makes a TON. You can thank us later for the leftovers. You can find filé powder in the international aisle at most large grocery stores or online.
This weekend down in NOLA, parades from the so-called “super krewes” of Orpheus, Bacchus and Endymion will take place, featuring the biggest and most elaborate floats. Check out www.mardigrasneworleans.com for a full schedule.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
- 4 lb. chicken thighs, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 lb. kielbasa sausage
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon filé powder
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- white rice (for serving)
- hot sauce (for serving, optional)
In a large pot, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Rub chicken thighs with Creole seasoning. Working in batches, saute chicken in oil until it browns, about 5-6 minutes. With tongs, remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Add a ½ cup oil and flour to pot. Scrape up any browned bits on bottom of the pan. Cook roux until dark brown (the color of a tarnished penny), approximately 20 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook them for about 5 minutes. Add the salt, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. Add the sausage and then the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 1 hour. Add reserved chicken to the pot and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours until chicken is tender and falling off the bone, occasionally skimming off the excess fat from the top of the gumbo.
Again with tongs, remove chicken from the stew to a clean plate. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Return meat to the gumbo, discarding the bones and fat. Stir in the filé powder, parsley and green onion. Adjust seasonings to taste. Best served over a scoop of white rice.
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse