Chandel Hancock’s Gumbo
Adapted from Talk About Good! Le Livre de la Cuisine de Lafayette
2/3 cup flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Water (approx. 6-8 cups)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 pounds of smoked sausage (Andouille, jalapeño, beef, pecan garlic), sliced crosswise into 1⁄4-inch rounds
6 pounds boneless, skinless chicken meat (breasts and thighs), cut into 1-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
6 cups of cooked, extra-long grain rice
French baguette or saltine crackers for serving
Feeds 30-40 people
Read Football, Cajun Style featuring Chandel's gumbo and her family's love of football, here.
Start heating water in kettle. (You will pour this hot water later into your mixture of hot roux, so it cooks more smoothly.) To make the roux, mix the flour and the oil in a heavy iron pot until it is thoroughly mixed. After it is mixed, turn the fire on medium-low. Stir constantly, all over the bottom of the pot to be sure that no particles stick to the bottom. As you stir, the roux browns slowly. Don’t cook your roux quickly because as it reaches the done point, it will be too hot and burn. When your roux is a rich, dark chocolate brown, cut off your fire immediately, while continuing to stir.
Add the garlic, onion, celery, bell pepper, sausage and chicken to the roux so the roux will stop browning. Stir over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes, until the vegetables are wilted. Add the hot water, and stir until the roux mixture and water are well combined. Bring the gumbo to a boil; then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add salt and pepper, and let the gumbo simmer, uncovered, for about 3 hours, skimming any fat that rises to the surface and stirring occasionally. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Serve over rice with French baguette or saltine crackers.
Tips for excellent gumbo and roux
- The science is in the roux; stir until it’s thick and dark but not burned.
- Use a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon to stir the roux; a plastic spoon will burn.
- Jalapeño sausage – in addition to Andouille sausage – gives it a nice Texas kick. HEB sells a tasty pecan garlic sausage.
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