CHICKEN, CRAWFISH AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
8 ounces andouille sausage, finely diced
4 ounces Tasso ham, finely diced
2 cups diced yellow onions
1 cup finely diced celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon gumbo filé powder
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart clam juice
1 ½ quarts chicken stock
1 cup sliced okra
1 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 pound crawfish tail meat (substitute 16/20 shrimp if you cannot find crawfish tails)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and the cracked pepper. Bake in a roasting pan for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degree.
3. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool slightly. Pull the meat from the bones and separate it from the skin. Set aside the meat and discard the rest.
4. In a low and wide 6-quart (or larger) stockpot over medium-high heat, add the butter and sauté the sausage and ham with the onions, celery and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes.
5. Add the bay leaves, gumbo filé, cayenne, oregano, thyme, and the rest of the salt. Cook until the mixture begins to pick up some color.
6. Add the flour and stir in to form a roux. Continue to cook until the mixture turns a fairly dark brown.
7. Add the clam juice and stock and whisk out the lumps. Add the okra and bell peppers, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer (the mixture should begin to thicken). Simmer for about 20 minutes.
8. When the texture becomes stew-like, add the pulled chicken and crawfish (include any liquid from thawed crawfish). Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.
9. Taste and season with more salt, pepper or cayenne, as desired. Remove the bay leaves. Serve with cooked long grain rice.
For many fans who love to see their favorite sports in person, tailgating is as much fun as the event itself. And no tailgate is complete without ample amounts of food. Those who want to add a touch of Louisiana home cooking to their tailgates can try the following recipe for Chicken, Crawfish and Sausage Gumbo from Neal Corman and Chris Peterson’s “Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook” (St. Martin’s Press).
~ Metro Creative Services