Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Serves 12
Sue Hamilton of Orangevale enjoyed the filé chicken gumbo served at the Blue Bayou Restaurant while visiting Disneyland recently. She was hoping for the recipe. Micki Stanley of Folsom shares this recipe (which has been slightly modified) and includes some typical Cajun ingredients.
Filé (FEE-lay) is a spice used in Creole cooking for its woodsy flavor and thickening quality. It comes from the leaves of the sassafras tree. It's added after the dish is removed from the heat to keep the filé from becoming tough and stringy.
Andouille (an-DOO-ee) sausage is a spicy, smoked pork sausage used in Cajun dishes. Roux (ROO) is a mixture of flour and a fat (usually butter, but lard, drippings, beef or pork fat can be used) and is used as a thickener for soups and sauces.
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There are three types of roux: white, blond and brown. The color and flavor depend on how long you cook it. The longer it is cooked, the darker it becomes. White and blond roux use butter and are used to thicken white sauces and light soups, while brown roux (which can use butter but usually drippings or meat fat) is used to thicken dark, rich soups and sauces.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
12 ounces frozen cut okra, divided use
2 medium yellow onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ pound celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
¾ pound green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ pound andouille sausage, split and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 quarts chicken stock
1¼ tablespoons kosher salt, divided use
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 6-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 ounces brown roux (see note and instructions at end of recipe)
1 teaspoon gumbo filé
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups cooked white rice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
In a saucepot, heat half of the oil over medium heat, add half of the okra and sauté until light brown and slimy looking. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic and andouille. Sauté until the vegetables become translucent.
Be careful not to burn. Add the diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Mix well.
Add roux (see note) to the chicken stock. Whisk until the roux is completely dissolved. Mix chicken stock/roux mixture with vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer 10 minutes. Stir frequently so the gumbo doesn't burn into the bottom of the pot.
In a sauté pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add chicken and remaining salt. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through and slightly brown. Add the rest of the okra and cook until hot.
Drain well and add to the gumbo with the filé. Mix well. To serve, divide rice evenly among bowls (a couple of tablespoons per bowl) and ladle gumbo over rice. Garnish with parsley.
How to make brown roux: In a heavy stockpot, heat 2 cups of vegetable oil to 150 degrees (very low). Slowly whisk in 1 pound of flour (about 3 cups), mixing well and constantly. Cook in a 375-degree oven for about two hours. (Watch carefully so as not to burn.) Stir every 15 minutes. Roux is done when chocolate brown in color. You can freeze the roux in small portions and use as needed in recipes.
Note: This recipe calls for 2 ounces of brown roux. It makes much more than you'll need for this recipe and is fairly time-consuming. If you'd like a shortcut, place ¼ cup of room-temperature butter in a small sauté pan or saucepan over very low heat. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup of flour until very smooth. Continue whisking until the roux is the color you desire. It makes just enough for this recipe.
Per serving, using low sodium chicken broth: 183 calories; 10 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fat (3 saturated, 4 monounsaturated, 2 polyunsaturated);
20 milligrams cholesterol; 866 milligrams sodium; 2 grams fiber; 3 grams sugar; 44 percent calories from fat