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Gumbo C&S
This can also be made with turkey leftovers from the holidays. Save the turkey bones to make the stock and the meat for the gumbo.

Notes: People get mad if you mess with their mamma's (or daddy's) gumbo recipe, so let me say that this is the way I make gumbo at home. I do use tomatoes, but only sometimes and mostly in a shrimp gumbo. I don't like a lot of dark roux. That's just me. I actually take more time making a good stock than making a roux. I'm funny that way. Heck, most of the time I use roux from a jar and no one has ever noticed the difference. If you like a dark roux, just modify the recipe to meet your needs. Another note: I prefer a file' gumbo and don't use okra at home since my family doesn't care for it. If you like okra, add it when it calls for all of the stock to be added to the pot and simmered for a while and don't bother with the file'.

For chicken & sausage gumbo, first I make a stock. Yes, you can use a commercial broth for a weeknight meal. Use the reduced sodium one in a quart box (you'll need 2 boxes and probably a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet for a good color). For good homemade flavor though, make your own stock. See: Rich Chicken Stock recipe.

I tweak recipes all the time because I'm constantly experimenting. This time, I'm using a rich stock instead of homemade broth and added 1 can of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup to the gumbo as an option.

Rich Chicken Stock:
1 fryer hen, cut up and giblets removed
1 big onion, cut in large chunks
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
1 rib celery, chunked
Several bay leaves
Several unpeeled garlic cloves
cajun seasoning
peppercorns
dried whole thyme (not ground)

In a roasting pan, add chicken pieces and all veggies. Season lightly. Roast at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Let the chicken cool enough to handle and remove the meat from the bones, shred and set aside for gumbo. Dump everything else (bones, drippings, veggies) into a large stockpot. Add up to a gallon of water. Bring to a boil, stir in lots of peppercorns and 1 tablespoon dried whole thyme. Once it boils, bring it down to a simmer and let simmer for at least 2 hours. The more it simmers and reduces, the more intense the flavor. Remove any scum or foam that floats to the top while simmering.
Set a fine mesh sieve over a big heatproof bowl. Strain the stock. You'll need 2 quarts (8 cups) for the gumbo. Freeze any remaining stock for later use. Reserve the garlic from the stock for the gumbo.

Gumbo:
1/2 lb andouille, diced
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
2 cups chopped creole veggies (pre-chopped blends are great)
3 bay leaves
the boiled garlic cloves (if you made the stock, otherwise, 1 tbs finely minced garlic or garlic paste)
1 tbs chili pepper paste or hot sauce, to taste
1 cup white wine (or try 1 cup unfiltered apple cider - I like the "Gala" flavor)
1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared roux
chicken stock (about 8 cups)
1 can Campell's Golden Mushroom soup (optional)
chicken meat from stock
a dash of ground coriander (optional)
1 tsp dried tarragon (optional)
1 green onion top, finely sliced
A little chopped parsley
Gumbo file'

First you make a roux in a skillet (or dig it out of the jar). I don't use a whole lot because I let the file' do the work at the end. 1/4 to 1/3 cup light roux is good for me.

In your gumbo pot, saute the andouille and smoked sausage over medium heat until nicely brown.  Add the chopped creole veggies and bay leaves. Saute for about 10 minutes, or until the veggies are wilted, stirring often. Use the garlic from the stock pot (or enough fresh minced garlic to make a tablespoon or so) and add with the chili pepper paste (or hot sauce) to the veggies and andouille. Let it get nice and fragrant. Add 1 cup white wine (or water or stock) to deglaze the bottom of the pot, gently scraping up all the brown bits. When the liquid has reduced, stir in the roux and let it get nice and hot, then add 2 cups of the stock, whisking or stirring well until the roux is smooth. Stir in the rest of the stock. Add the golden mushroom soup. When it's all well stirred, let it get to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for about an hour, stirring every once in a while.

When you start getting real hungry, put on a pot of rice.

To the simmering gumbo, add the shredded chicken from the roasting pan. Let it get to a nice, bubbly simmer. Add the dash of ground coriander and dried tarragon. Don't that smell good?? Taste for seasoning level. Add cajun seasoning or salt if necessary. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until rice is ready.

When your pot of rice dings, turn off the heat on the gumbo. Let the gumbo sit for a few minutes while you chop the green onions and parsley.  Stir in the green onions and parsley. Serve over rice with some gumbo file', cher!


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