Fried Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
By Terese Allen - Fall 2017 Issue
Gumbo is the quintessence of down-home, rustic fare; still, it’s not what you’d call simple to make. If you’re a cook who likes a project, though, you’ll get a load of satisfaction from its intricate layering of big flavors and gutsy techniques.
Recipe Detail Serves: 10 40 mins. Prep Time, 2 to 2 1/2 hours Cook Time
Combine poblanos, onions, celery, garlic, and seasonings in a bowl; set aside. Combine chicken stock and beer in a pot; heat gently.
Turn on stove hood. Heat oil in a 4- to 6-quart cast iron pot or heavy Dutch oven over a medium-high flame to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, toss chicken and seasoned flour in a bag. Shake off excess flour from chicken. Working in batches to avoid cooling the oil too much, brown thighs in the hot oil, turning pieces once or twice for even coloring. (Lower flame if oil begins to smoke.) Drain chicken on paper towels.
Wearing kitchen mitts, whisk a scant cup of plain flour into the hot oil until smooth. Return heat to medium-high and, whisking steadily, cook roux until it’s dark chocolate in color. This will take 10 to 15 minutes and may involve some wisps of smoke; if the smoke gets heavier than that, lower the heat a bit.
Switch to a wooden spoon, stir in prepared vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until veggies are getting limp, about 10 minutes. Whisk in warm stock/beer mixture; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally and skimming fat from surface often, about 30 minutes. Add reserved chicken thighs; bring to simmer and cook 20 to 30 minutes, again skimming often. Stir in sliced sausage; continue cooking and skimming (if necessary) until chicken is nearly falling off the bone, another 30 to 40 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Transfer chicken thighs to a cutting board and when they’re cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones. Coarsely shred the meat with a fork and return it to the pot. Stir in okra, raise heat to medium and simmer until okra is fully tender (15 to 20 minutes if using fresh okra; 5 to 10 minutes if it’s thawed). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat let gumbo stand at room temperature 1 to 3 hours or cool it down and chill overnight. (This step is optional, but it really helps develop the flavor!)
To serve, reheat gumbo. Serve each bowlful with rice and green onions. And beer.