My first introduction to making gumbo was from Alex Patout's cookbook. He had opened a restaurant in Houston and it was just great. To actually get to taste what gumbo should taste like, that deeply flavorful roux combined with sausage, chicken, the trinity and a wonderful chicken stock. Amazing.
These days even many of the cooks in Louisiana don't stand over a stove and make roux any more now that some very fine jarred rouxs are available. I happen to like Savoie but there are many others like Kary's and Ragin Cajun. Try a few and see which one you like.
And Chicken and Sausage Gumbo should be made with a very dark roux and should be on the thin side. Do not be tempted to thicken this if it looks thin. You'll just dull the flavors. Give it a try and be sure to let us know how you liked it or changed it to make it your own. Enjoy!
1. In a 4 qt saucepan, add the chicken thighs and the vegetables and cover with the cold water.
2. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour skimming any foam that comes to the top.
3. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover.
5. Strain the stock through a piece of cheesecloth in a strainer (or through a fine sieve) and discard the vegetables. De-fat the stock.
6. Remove the chicken from the bones and keep it covered until ready to use it below.
1. Add 1 quart of stock to a heavy pot along with the roux.
Roux Added to the Stock
2. Whisk until the roux is fully dissolved in the stock.
Roux Mixed in with the Stock
3. Add the remaining stock, the onion, celery and bell pepper and bring the mixture to a medium boil.
Cajun Holy Trinity - Celery, Bell Pepper and Onion
4. Add the red, white and black peppers and the salt and boil for 15 minutes.
5. Add the sausage and chicken and bring to a low boil. Test for salt and add as necessary 1 t at a time.
Cutting Up the Chicken Thighs
Roasted Sausage before Chopping
6. Continue to cook for about 30 minutes longer to give everything a chance to come together.
7. Turn off the heat and let it rest. The longer the better. This is actually better the next day but you probably won't be able to wait so go ahead and enjoy!