Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
by Errol Lemoine
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
I am Errol Lemoine. I grew up in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana in the small town of Plaucheville. We had gumbo most frequently in the winter months. I have lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for 40 years and the recipe I am submitting is my own creation, yet it includes a few hints from my mom's and mother-in-law's gumbo recipes. Enjoy!
2 lbs. chicken thigh meat (boneless/skinless)
2 lbs. chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
3 lbs. fresh pork sausage (Bordelon's if available)
1-2 lbs. smoked pork sausage
Pork tasso to taste (optional)
Tony Chachere's Instant Roux Mix
Tony Chachere's Seasoning
3 or 4 large onions diced
2 large green bell peppers diced
3 stalks celery diced
1 bunch green onion tops chopped
1 bunch parsley chopped
5 dried bay leaves
1 1/2 gallons water
6 to 8 eggs (optional)
Let me start by saying that I never make my gumbo the same way twice in a row and I do a lot of adlibbing, so I suggest that you be prepared to do the same.
First fill a large soup (gumbo) pot a little over half with tap water and place on burner. While the water is still cold, dissolve an amount of the Tony‚s Instant Roux Mix adequate to give the water the consistency you prefer in your gumbo. As you heat the water, the starch in the roux mix releases its glutens that give the gravy the body (thickness) that is desired. Again, this is a matter of personal preference.
I like my gumbo to be of medium thickness. Saute‚ the onions, bell peppers and celery (known as the trinity) in separate pan until they become limp and opaque, then add them to the pot. Brown the sausage first to produce enough fat to brown the rest of the meat. It is easier if you brown the fresh sausage whole and cut in bite sized pieces after it‚s browned. The smoked sausage can be sliced before browning if preferred.
Be careful not to let the pan get so hot that the fat burns. Cut up, season (with Tony's) and brown the chicken thigh and breast meat to desired doneness then add to pot, hopefully boiling by now. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, add bay leaves as well as Tony‚s to taste. Allow to simmer over low heat for two hours.
Take pot and place on shelf in refrigerator immediately and allow to cool overnight. Remove from fridge and skim fat and reheat. If you care to add eggs to gumbo, wait for the gumbo to come to a slow boil, then crack them and drop them into the pot. Don‚t stir for several minutes after adding the eggs to give them a chance to boil to a hard state. Just prior to serving, sprinkle chopped green onion tops and parsley over top and stir into gumbo.
Serve over rice and add gumbo file‚ to taste and enjoy.
Serves a bunch of people.