The slow-cooked dark roux is the cornerstone of this wonderful one-pot dish. All of the ingredients build on the flavor of the roux as each adds another layer of divinely rich taste in this classic New Orleans dish.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into quarter size pieces
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 ¾ cups chopped or thinly sliced smoked pork sausage, such as andouille
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups cooked rice or potato salad, for serving
- 2 teaspoons file powder (optional)
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1. Put chicken pieces in a bowl. Mix chicken with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and celery salt. Set aside.
2. In a heavy-duty Dutch oven over medium heat, add the canola oil and flour and stir constantly until the roux turns a deep brown color, like milk chocolate. It is very important you stir constantly, or the roux will burn. The whole process should take about 20-30 minutes, so be patient and get a good color to your roux in order to achieve an authentic Cajun gumbo.
3. Add the seasoned chicken to the hot roux and stir for 3 more minutes.
4. Add the chopped onion, celery and green pepper to the roux and stir to blend well.
5. Add the chicken broth, diced sausage and bay leaves; bring all to a simmer. Once the liquid is simmering, reduce heat to low and cook for 45 minutes.
6. Remove gumbo from the heat and ladle into serving bowls.
7. Top each bowl with a large spoonful of white rice or potato salad and sprinkle a 1/4 teaspoon of file over the top, as well as a pinch of chopped scallions.