Now everybody loves chicken. I have never had a piece of bad chicken. I guess that is why so many cajuns use Chicken as a main ingredient in Gumbo. Chickens are plentiful and were always easy to obtain for my early french ancestors. Smoked Sausage was also available because it was normal to store meats during the old times without refrigeration. Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is one my my favorites. It is easier to get the ingredients than the seafood gumbo that we are known for.
Brown your sausage in the pot first. This is called the Gary Broussard method or Broussarding the sausage. Then remove cooked sausage and set in a bowl. The reason you cook the sausage first, is because you can eat the sausage while cooking the chicken. In the sausage grease, put the chicken in the the pot and cook. The grease from the chicken skin will help turn the chicken golden brown colored. Remove cooked chicken from the pot and place in a big bowl to cool. The combined grease from the sausage and the chicken will give you all the flavor you need to get the gumbo started...
Add the flour to the grease/oil and drippings and cook slowly on a medium heat until dark brown. Keep stirring the roux flour mixture until golden brown.
You have to make a good Roux (pronounced Roo ) and it takes a lot of time. The Roux is the magic of good gumbo. In today's time, you can go to your major supermarket and get name brand roux like SAVOIES. They package it in a mason jar and it is brown or chocolately looking.
Add the onions, bell pepper and celery to the hot roux and stir for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are wilted or partially cooked. Add the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, allspice, cayenne, basil and garlic. Keep stirring. Add your desired amount of salt slowly so you don't over salt the Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer for about 45 minutes.
Pick the cooked chicken off the bone after it cools. Discard the bones if you don't want them. Add the picked chicken meat and sausage to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 20 additional minutes or until the chicken is soft.
As with any good cajun dish, the use of Rice is essential. You will serve the seafood gumbo over a bowl of rice. You may also sprinkle FILE' on the top of each bowl as desired.
What is File'? We pronounce it "fee lay." File' is nothing more than finely ground sassafras leaf. It has a very unique and distinct flavor and is what makes seafood gumbo distinctly different than all of those other gumbo's you see out there. In my book, If you don't have File' in your seafood gumbo, it ain't nothing but soup. CAUTION You never add File' to the Gumbo while cooking. It is to be used like salt and pepper on top of your dish after being served.
I hope you enjoy some authentic chicken and sausage gumbo.
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