Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Story:  We made this recipe at a Fiddlers Convention campground several years ago.  The guest artist that year happened to be a Creole fiddler from Louisiana.  In fact, he recently won an Grammy award.  Anyway, he watched and watched what Tom was doing in the pot, then finally blurted out "You make gumbo better than my mama!"  Quite a compliment, coming from him.  Needless to say, he stayed for dinner.

1 tbl. file powder
1 lb. Andouille sausage, cut into ½ “ slices, then quartered
1 large onion, chopped
½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
½ cup celery, coarsely diced
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium variety!)
2 lbs. chicken thighs
5 tbl. canola oil
½ cup flour

·         Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a large Dutch oven
·         lightly pepper the chicken thighs with the black pepper
·         heat oil over medium heat until just hot
·         place chicken in pot, skin side down, and lightly brown both sides (about 10 minutes per side)
·         remove chicken from pot and let cool, reserving the oil for later use
·         remove the skin and meat from the chicken bones (chicken will not be fully cooked at this point, so no sampling!)
·         discard the skin and  cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside
·         To make your roux:  add to the oil leftover from cooking the chicken 3 tablespoons of canola oil, and ½ cup of flour, and whisk until smooth, scraping up any of the brown bits left by the chicken.
·         heat to medium-high for 4 minutes, whisking constantly (do not let burn!!)
·         reduce heat to medium, continue cooking and stirring constantly another 15 to 20 minutes until it’s a dark-reddish-brown color.
·         Stir in onion, red & green bell pepper, celery, garlic, black pepper and cayenne pepper. 
·         Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes, until veggies are tender.
·         stir in chicken broth and the bay leaf.
·         add chicken pieces
·         bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer about 45 minutes, stirring often.
·         add sausage, cover and simmer another 20 minutes.
·         Remove from heat.
·         add the file powder and stir until well mixed (do not let boil again once file is in!)
·         Serve hot over rice with Camp Biscuits on the side.  YUM!

There's nothing like a bowl of Tom's hot gumbo served over rice with Camp Biscuits!

Chefs note:  One time we accidentally used the full sodium version of chicken broth for this recipe.  It made it WAY too salty, with all of the other seasonings and meat in there.  We had to throw the whole pot out.  That’s why we emphasize using the low-sodium variety of broth.  In fact, it’s all we use for everything any more.

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