My husband and I share a similar ethnic background – Sicilian and French, although I’m also part Basque, Irish, and German. I’m always amazed, however, over vastly different childhood food experiences. Of course, he is a selective eater, and perhaps he’s blocked out many food-related memories, but whenever I ask him, “did your mom ever make….?” The answer is often no, even though the item in question could be as common as chicken gumbo. Now, these different food experiences are both a blessing and a curse, as I never hear “my mom’s insert food item here is better” but, on the other hand, because he never ate insert food item here as a child, he’s
reluctant refuses to try it…initially, at least. There are foods that I’ve introduced that he has slowly come to enjoy, and even request. One such item is chicken gumbo. Now, I grew up eating chicken and sausage gumbo, and it’s definitely one of my favorite gumbos. The husband, however, is anti-sausage. I tried subbing tasso, which works really well, but he wasn’t overly enthused, shall we say. So, after many batches of gumbo, I finally arrived at this gumbo recipe, which I’m happy to say, meets his approval. And, while there is no sausage or tasso in it, it meets my approval, too.
Some tips and comments – I make a really dark roux, so my gumbo is not very thick. If you prefer a thicker-style, cook your roux to a lighter color. Also, if you want to add sausage, brown the sausage when you brown the chicken and return the sausage to the gumbo when you return the chicken. I cook the chicken with the bone, but before serving, I remove the chicken from the gumbo, debone it, and return the chicken to the gumbo before serving. This is not necessary, but I find it somewhat messy to eat the chicken while it’s still on the bone. Finally, file’ is not required, but it definitely adds that special something to your gumbo.
Chicken Gumbo Printable recipe
3 lbs chicken pieces (I use chicken breasts on the bone)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup flour
2 cups celery, diced
4 cups onion, diced
½ cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon savory
1 bay leaf
7-8 cups chicken stock
Salt & cayenne pepper
Hot cooked rice
File’ powder, optional
Season chicken pieces with salt and cayenne pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a large Dutch oven.
Add chicken pieces and cook until golden brown; remove and set aside.
Lower heat, and add remaining canola oil and flour to Dutch oven to make a dark roux. Be very careful, as the oil is extremely hot. Cook the roux over medium heat – I aim for the color of milk chocolate, and this can take upwards of 20+ minutes.
Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to Dutch oven, cooking until fragrant and onions are turning translucent.
Add thyme, savory, and bay leaf.
Return chicken pieces and add chicken stock to Dutch oven.
Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until chicken is tender and liquid has reduced.
Taste for seasoning, adding salt & pepper as desired.
Serve over hot cooked rice with a dash of file’ powder (sprinkled on top, not stirred in).
Today’s post is also linked to Two for Tuesdays.