kept alive by gumbo

gumbo

Sorry for the radio silence this past week, but for the last eight days I’ve been out of commission with the nastiest cold/allergy/something-or-other I’ve ever had the displeasure of suffering through. Hack, cough. I’ve been eating, but for several days I completely lost my sense of taste – a distressing state of affairs.

Early in the week, Jon and I were signed up to help with a cooking class taught by our friend Peter. I felt that the customers might not appreciate my coughing into their food, so Jon went on his own, and he came back laden with fabulous leftovers. The class theme was Southern food, in particular New Orleans-style, featuring shrimp fritters, cornbread and chicken-sausage gumbo, and there was more than enough food for everyone. I lived off of that gumbo for the next several days, it being one of the few things that could penetrate my personal fog.

If you’ve managed to catch the crud yourself and need some hot soup full of pork fat, or if you’re just in the mood to celebrate Fat Tuesday with a little gumbo, here’s the recipe.

gumbo

Fayetta’s Down Home Chicken Sausage Gumbo

recipe from Peter Belknap

  • 1 large chicken, cut into pieces
  • 6 Tbsp oil or lard
  • 1 1/2 lb smoked sausage
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 green pepper, minced
  • 1 yellow pepper, minced
  • 4-5 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • file powder to taste
  • 3 quarts chicken broth or more
  • Optional additions: okra, oysters, prawns, carrot (I can personally recommend prawns, peeled and simmered in the hot gumbo until just done)

Fry the chicken parts until brown, remove from pan. Fry sausages until brown, remove from pan. Add oil to the drippings until it totals 1/2 cup of fat. Add flour and cook the roux until brown. Add vegetables and cook until soft. Add seasonings and hot sauce, then add broth. Return chicken and sausage to pot, cook gently one hour. Remove bones from the chicken and chop up the meat, putting it back in the pan. Add the green onions and parsley, simmer another minute or so and serve over rice. Pass file powder at the table.

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