Seattle winter is dragging on, which means rain, rain, and did I mention rain? Blah. If summers weren’t absolutely gorgeous in the Pacific Northwest, I’d pack up my family and hightail it back to Chicago right about now. To snow? you ask. Well, yeah, but also back to some amazing food, including this chicken and sausage gumbo.
We’ve talked about my love affair with Heaven on Seven, Jimmy Bannos’s eatery on the Magnificent Mile. His gumbo defies definition. It’s heavenly (appropriately so). I bought his cookbook shortly before moving to Washington. I’ll confess, I was intimidated by this recipe because something so delicious must be complicated, right? True, it takes skill and attention to whip up a version worthy of the original, but it’s definitely possible. I made a few changes to suit our tastes and we’re hooked. Its comforting and rich flavor is a perfect rainy day meal. You’ll also have leftovers for a week, score!
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
For the roux:
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Cajun seasoning:
- 4 tbsp. paprika
- 4 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
For the rice:
- 1 cup white rice
- 3 cups water
For the gumbo:
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced
- 4 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 cups green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp. jalapeno, minced
- 1 tbsp. garlic puree
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 batch of roux
- white rice for serving
- In a small bowl, create the Cajun seasoning by stirring together all the ingredients. Set aside.
- In a 7-quart stockpot, make the roux. Heat the vegetable oil on medium heat until steaming, but not boiling. Slowly whisk in the flour until well-combined and no lumps remain. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for about 25 minutes until the flour browns, preventing it from sticking to the bottom or the sides.
Pour the finished product into a heat-proof bowl, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for one hour. Uncover and pour the separated vegetable oil off the top. The roux itself will harden and darken as it cools. It will also look like fudge. Resist the urge to eat it!
- Rinse out the stockpot to use for the gumbo. Pour in the extra-virgin olive oil and heat on high. Add the andouille and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken and cook for five minutes. Pour in the Cajun seasoning and stir to combine.
- Stir in yellow, green and red onions and cook for five minutes.
- Add green pepper, celery, garlic puree and jalapeno and cook for three minutes.
- Add the basil, oregano, pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Whisk in the roux and stir for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
- In a medium saucepot, bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup of white rice to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 20 minutes.
- Spoon gumbo into a bowl and serve with white rice. Enjoy!