Sorry to leave you hanging on the Mardi Gras recipes, it turned out to be a busy week and this post required more typing. I was pretty far out of my comfort zone in making this dish, and the Internet has about 1000 different gumbo recipes. There seems to be some squabbling among cooks as to what makes a gumbo authentic, and I am not even educated enough to have an opinion. So I took a step back from the computer, and turned to a classic Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.
The recipe starts with a roux, and thankfully BH&G said to cook the roux until it is the color of a penny. I am not sure I would have waited (and stirred!) that long if I hadn’t read that advice. I was also a little nervous about using okra. I’ve only had okra once, and it was tough and stringy. That’s not the way okra is supposed to be, so I was grateful that the recipe uses frozen okra and I didn’t need to pick it out myself.
In the end, this is the only gumbo I’ve ever had, so therefore it was automatically the best. I liked the smoky flavor and the okra was good, not stringy at all. We couldn’t take a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but I’d say our Mardi Gras dinner was a success.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. canola oil
2 onions, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 t minced garlic
1/4 t black pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
4 c. vegetable broth
10 oz. smoked turkey sausage
1 (16 oz.) package frozen okra, thawed
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
Combine flour and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir continuously for 20-25 minutes, until the roux turns reddish brown, similar to the color of a penny. Stir in onion, celery, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are softened. Gradually stir in hot broth, sausage, okra, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve over rice.
-Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens