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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekly Recipes: June 26

I started with a recipe I got from Fine Cooking, but didn't have some of the things it called for, and I knew that some recipes had okra in them, which I preferred, so I added that to the mix. It's a little different from their recipe, but the skeleton came from them. I also use leftover turkey meat in this, and just cook the stew without the turkey, adding the turkey later since it is already cooked.


4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup oil (I use cold pressed sunflower seed or safflower oil)
3 pounds skinless chicken thighs, preferably bone-in
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium bunch celery, thinly sliced (leaves, too)
4 large onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow/orange peppers, sliced
1 pound sliced okra (fresh or frozen)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne or 5 fresh cayenne peppers, diced - if using fresh peppers, add with other vegetables (we will be experimenting with using fish peppers this summer)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
3 pounds andouille sausage or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 cups cooked rice
Chopped scallions to garnish
Hot pepper vinegar

In a heavy soup pot, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat until almost smoking. While the oil is heating, season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown, turning once to brown both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add 3/4 cup oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute over medium heat. Slowly add flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the color of milk chocolate, 15 to 30 minutes. Stir carefully, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. Pay attention not to burn the roux; if you do burn it, you’ll have to start over.

When the roux has reached a good color, add the celery, onions, peppers, okra and garlic and cook until soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Stir in the cayenne, oregano, basil, thyme and bay leaves. Stir to scrape the bottom of the pot and cook until well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Slowly add the broth while stirring until smoothly blended. Add the chicken and the sausage. Bring to a simmer and skim off excess fat. Simmer uncovered, skimming any foam or fat that rises to the surface, until the chicken meat is so tender that it falls easily from the bones, about 2 hours (begin checking earlier). Remove the bones from the pot and discard.

Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. Serve the gumbo in bowls over the cooked rice with chopped scallions. Pass the hot pepper vinegar at table.

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