I love entertaining and now that we’re settled in our new place back in the city, I’ve started hosting weekly dinners with friends. The most recent dinner was on Mardi Gras where I prepared a Cajun inspired meal. The highlight of the meal was this Cajun Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. My friends haven’t had gumbo before so I was especially anxious to make this for them. This is my go-to recipe for gumbo but I must say that this time around it came out even better than when I initially made it back in 2009 (please forgive the pic!)…
I don’t know why I don’t cook this more often. It’s comforting and so, so good! The key to this is patience. I felt like it took forever for the roux to turn the perfect color brown before I could move forward with the recipe. But after making this dish several times over the years, ensuring the roux is dark enough is critical. The dark roux imparts such a deep flavor that really makes the dish. If the roux is too light, you’ll miss out!
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, whisk in flour. Continue whisking until the roux has cooked to the color of a deep roasted, melted peanut butter, 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the roux. If you see black specks in the mixture, start over.
Stir onion, bell pepper, celery, sausage and garlic into the roux; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning; blend thoroughly. Pour in the chicken broth and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
After 1 hour, stir in the chicken and simmer for another hour more. Skim off any foam that floats to the top during the last hour. Serve hot over or with rice.