Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Even more than jambalaya or red beans and rice, gumbo is Louisiana's signature dish. There are as many recipes as there are bayous that twine through the state. Those living along the Gulf of Mexico tend to cook seafood gumbo, since crabs, shrimp, and oysters are readily available.
1 (4- to 5-pound) hen (stewing chicken), cut into serving pieces salt cayenne pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried powdered or leaf thyme
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
hot cooked rice for serving
Season the hen generously with salt and cayenne, and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, make a roux by combining the oil and flour over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook for about 30 minutes, or until the roux is dark brown. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft.
Add the broth and stir to blend well. Add the chicken, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the chicken is fork-tender. Add the andouille and cook for another 30 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and add the green onions and parsley. Remove the bay leaves. Serve immediately over rice.
If andouille sausage is not available, another smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, is perfectly acceptable to use.