Just a few days ago at Kosherfest (my experience and finds post coming later today) I had test tasted some sweet Italian sausage that has made me crave this dish for the past 2 days. My friend and former pastry chef had raved about the Jack Gourmet’s sausages last year, so this year I saved them for my dessert tasting at the fest and was happily rewarded with a great food ending to my day.
Well tonight I am finally giving into my craving and making my version of Gumbo.Even though the weather is playing mind games with us today (60+ degrees in November!) I am making this hearty-stick-to-your-bones dish that I usually reserve for cold wet winter days.
When my sister had my first nephew Eliezer, I decided that I was going to be known as Auntie Rah Rah. It was easier for him to say (one of his first words in fact) and it was kind of catchy. When Eliezer came to visit me this summer from Israel I was experimenting in my kitchen with this dish. Not only did he eat it for supper that night down to the last drops, he aptly named it Gumbo Rah Rah for future reference.
Gumbo who’s roots have origin in New Orleans where they have made it an art form, is usually a stew like dish that combines fish, meat sausage and poultry. It is started with a roux that cooks for about an hour or so before any vegetable or meat is added. For my dinner purposes I made my gumbo a one pot meal that cooks in under an hour total.
Tip: It freezes exceptionally well. To make this more soup like than stew like add an additional 3 cups of broth let simmer for about 30 minutes longer on the stove top for a great twist on a chicken based soup.
Tip: If you happen to have leftover Turkey from this Thanksgiving, you can save yourself even more time and just throw in the leftovers at the very end of your cooking for a great new terrific way to finish that bird off!
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
4-5 pieces skinless boneless chicken pieces, cut into strips
1 cup + 3 tbsp. bleached all-purpose flour
3 cups Chicken broth or 1 cup dry white wine & 2 cups water
1 cup chopped red pepper peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped baby carrots
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4-5 pieces of kosher sausage (found in freezer section in kosher aisle)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions or scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 cup cooked rice for serving
In a large, heavy pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil for about 3-4 minutes. As the onions are sautéing, sprinkle the chicken pieces with kosher salt and pepper and then dredge the chicken pieces lightly in 1 cup of flour. Make sure that each chicken piece has a light coating of flour on it. Add the flour coated chicken pieces to the hot pan with the sautéed onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan with tons and set aside for later.
Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the hot pan and deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon. Once you have gotten all the good brown bits mixed into the broth add the flour mix. Let the broth cook for about 5 minutes then add all the vegetables and mix well. Add the bay leaves, and the rest of the spices and let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes until they soften. Add the cooked chicken pieces, the cut sausage and the rest of the chicken broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25-30 minutes
Stir in the green onions and parsley and serve the gumbo in individual soup bowls over hot, steamed white rice.