For quite a few years, I have been making Red Beans and Rice every Sunday. Here in New Orleans, it's tradition to cook Red Beans on Mondays - something about wash day - but I have a large block of free time on Sundays. Each week, I tweak the recipe a bit until now I think I have it perfected. Cooking a good pot of Red Beans and Rice is a deceptively complex endeavor. I don't have my current (final?) recipe worked out on paper yet, but I'll post it here once I do.
In the last few months, I have been rotating into my Sundays cooking Chicken and Sausage Gumbo in place of Red Beans and Rice - and have been getting really good compliments on the results each time. I thought I'd share my recipe here.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
(adapted from a recipe by Karlie, my sister Christine's girlfriend)
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
2-3 lb. chicken
3 large onions – diced
2 green bell peppers – diced
4 stalks celery – diced
1-2 lb. Andouille or smoked sausage
1 bay leaf
Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 lb. okra – cut
3 tbsp. Parsley
In large pot, cover whole chicken with water. Bring to a boil and then cook about 45 minutes. While chicken is cooking, make a roux in a large Dutch oven. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add sausage.
Set chicken aside to cool. Add chicken stock to mix. Once chicken cools, peel and discard skin. De-bone chicken and add to mix.*
Add bay leaf, parsley, seasoning (Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning works best), Worcestershire sauce, Rotel Tomatoes, and salt to taste. Cook for two hours on medium, stirring occasionally.
Add okra. Simmer for three hours, adding more seasoning as needed. Add Kitchen Bouquet® to taste.
Serve over rice.
*Alternate: Add entire cooked chicken with stock. As chicken separates from bone, remove bones and discard.