I've been promising a step by step Chicken and Sausage Gumbo post, so here it is:
1. Find the biggest soup pot you have. Put a chicken, a few stalks of celery, and an onion cut in half in the pot and fill it up with water. Put in on the stove to boil and forget about it for a few hours. Well, check it a few times to add water if the water looks low!
2. In the meantime, enlist some help to chop stuff up. You have a lot of chopping to do.
Chop 3-4 stalks of celery, 1 bell pepper, 1 large onion, and a bunch of green onions. Then finely mince 6 large cloves of garlic.
3. After the chicken has been boiling for at least 2 hours (sometimes I leave it for 3), find the most gigantic bowl that you have (or another very large pot). Put it in the sink and put a strainer over it. Dump the chicken and broth into the strainer.
Toss the soggy veggies and put the chicken to the side to cool after you poke a couple of holes in it to help it cool. Dump the broth back into the pot and put it back on the stove on low to keep it warm.
4. While the chicken is cooling, it's time to saute the veggies. Put a whole stick of butter in a skillet on medium/high. Yes, I said a WHOLE stick.
When it's melted and sizzling, add the chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper.
Saute it until it looks and smells like this. Well you can imagine how good it smells.
Now add the garlic and saute for about one more minute.
5. Now it's time to add the roux. I could explain how to make homemade roux, but I've found that jarred roux tastes just as good, and it's just easier. This is already taking long enough, right? Amazingly enough, I can usually find jarred roux in the "Cajun" section of my grocery store. This time I'm using some that a good friend of Chris' brought us from Louisiana.
I dumped half of the 32 oz jar into the veggies. Yes, I know it says 1/2 cup or whatever, but I like thick, strong gumbo, not wimpy, watered down gumbo. It's hard to get out of the jar. You have to get a knife and pry it out. It looks like hard chocolate.
Mix it up it bit and turn the skillet off. Leave it alone for a while.
6. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, start picking it off the bones. I do not like bones in my gumbo. This is fun for kids since they love to get their hands dirty.
(To my Super Bowl party guests: I promise that her hands were clean!)
When the chicken is all shredded, add it to the chicken broth on the stove.
7. By now, the skillet with veggies and roux should look like melted chocolate.
Dump it into the chicken broth and turn stove up to high so it will boil.
8. I forgot to tell you that you should have 2 pounds of sausage chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Put the chopped sausage pieces in the skillet that had the melted roux in it. No don't wash it first. Cook on medium until they are slightly browned and greasy. Dump them into the soup pot.
9. Add a couple Tbsp of Cajun seasoning. I use this since it's the only thing they sell up here.
Add several liberal squirts of hot sauce of your choice.
9. Turn stove to medium/low and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. Add some water if it looks low.
10. 30 minutes before you serve, add the chopped green onions and a bag of frozen cut okra.
11. Serve over white rice with hot, buttered french bread on the side. Make sure you have gumbo file' and hot sauce available!
Follow these directions and you will have very happy party people!