~ Courtesy of Bonni Fehler

New Orleans Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

My husband and I have a deep love of New Orleans and on one visit we had a private cooking class from the former Chef of the locally famous "Commanders Palace".

Gumbo is peasant food. It is not expensive to make, it doesn't have a lot of ingredients, but there is a technique to it.

"First you make a roux!!" (You hear that a lot in New Orleans.)

In this case, it's a brown roux and it takes about 'one beer'. You constantly stir your roux for the duration of drinking one beer. When your beer is done, so is your roux.

Caution: Do not leave the roux unattended during this time! It burns very easily and if you burn, you start all over again.

2 litres of Chicken stock

1 cooked chicken (I've used the grocery store rotisserie or even left over chicken)

1 pound of Andouille Sausage cut 1/2" thick. (I've used smoked Ukrainian garlic sausage)

1 cup of chopped onion

2 cups chopped bell pepper

1 can of tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup of brown roux

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1 cup of canola oil

1 cup of flour

In a large, heavy pot, stir together on medium heat constantly until it looks like chocolate milk - then take it off the heat. It will keep getting darker. Each phase of color provides a different base flavour to your dish.

At this point put in all the raw vegetables (except the garlic, it will burn), the seasonings, and half of the sausage. Stir until softened.

Put in the garlic and stir.

Add the tomatoes and the stock.

Bring the gumbo to a boil and reduce to moderate heat. Skim the gumbo as needed.

Cook for 1.5hrs.

Before serving add the chicken and the rest of the sausage.

Adjust your seasoning and add salt.

Serve in bowl topped with a scoop of white rice.