Gumbo is all about flavor; it tastes great, it’s thick, spicy, and it sticks to your ribs. I like to make it for tailgates because it’s one of those dishes that warms you up, and it’s easy to serve a large group of people.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
One 3-pound chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup flour
1 pound onion, medium diced
1/2 pound celery, medium diced
1/2 pound green bell pepper, medium diced
1/2 cup garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon salt
4 bay leaves
3 quarts chicken stock
3 green onions, cut thin on the bias
1 tablespoon filé powder
Additional seasoning as needed
Place a large, heavy soup pot on the stove over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Pour in the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Season the chicken on all sides with the Creole seasoning and brown in the pot in small batches to ensure it's evenly browned on all sides.
When the batches of browned chicken come out of the pot, let them rest on a plate or serving platter to catch any juices. When chicken is done browning, brown all the sausage and render for 3-4 minutes to release all the smoky fats into the pan. Remove the sausage and let rest with the chicken.
Add additional 1 cup of oil to the pot and shake in the flour to start making the roux. Using a heavy, square nose wooden spoon, continually scrape all the brown pan dripping up into the roux to begin the gumbo. Constantly stir over medium-high heat until the roux becomes the shade of peanut butter.
At this point, carefully stir in the onions, celery, and green bell pepper and continually mix the pot as the vegetables start to release their steam and caramelize into the roux.
When the vegetables are wilted and slightly brown, stir in the minced garlic, cayenne, salt, and bay leaves, and continue to cook for 1 minute until flavor is released and pungent.
Slowly add the stock while stirring constantly so the gumbo starts to thicken without forming roux balls. When the stock is all added and the sauce is smooth and shiny, add the chicken back to the pot and bring to a simmer.
Skim the pot free of all fats and foam and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking the gumbo by stirring occasionally and skimming as needed for 50 minutes.
Add the sausage, green onions, and any additional seasonings as necessary, such as Louisiana hot sauce and Worcestershire. Remove the pot from the heat and shake in the filé powder to finish.