A Fall Favorite: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

PUBLISHED ON: 11.01.2012

The soup and stew wagon has arrived.  Cold weather or not, it is my favorite season.  I am ready to fill the bellies of my family and friends with hearty and soul warming foods. Who cares if it is still 85 degrees, it is autumn for crying out loud!

This is award winning recipe belongs to Alcee “Butch” Bayard.   He has been crafting and tweaking this recipe for nearly a lifetime.  He recently walked away with a first-place trophy.  He said that the addition of whole wheat flour in place of a portion of the all-purpose flour made the difference in preparing the roux, and it scored him a first place trophy, after years of placing third.

A definite crowd pleaser.   There is what seems like a million versions and twists on gumbo, and most are good.  This one is very good, and it ranks as a keeper at my house.  Careful, this version can pack some heat as it sits overnight, or in my case a few days before I served it up to the crowd.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Serves a Crowd (12-15)
Recipe from Food Network Alcee “Butch” Bayard

2/3 cup canola oil 
3/4 up all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup finely chopped onion, plus 2 cups roughly chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1pound smoked sausage, sliced
8-ounces tasso ham or andouille sausage, diced
1-1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
3-4 scallions, chopped
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional).
1.  Make the roux: Heat the canola oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk in both flours and cook, whisking constantly, until he roux is dark brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes, then stir in the finely chopped onion.
2.  Meanwhile, bring the broth and 20 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the roughly chopped onions, the celery and bell pepper; cook over medium-high heat, 15 minutes.  Stir in the roux in 3 batches; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 minutes.  Add the cayenne, garlic powder, 2-1/2 tablespoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir in the smoked sausage and tasso ham or smoked sausage.  Reduce the heat to low: simmer 1-hour.  
3.  Return the mixture to a boil.  Add the chicken thighs and breasts and cook 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Skim the fat from the surface, then stir in the scallions.  Serve over rice.

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