Top | The Glory of Southern Cooking
Gumbo Ya Ya
(recipe, James Villas)
This chicken-and-sausage gumbo recipe comes from Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.
- 1 chicken, 2 to 2½ pounds
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- ½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ lb. smoked sausage (such as kielbasa), thinly sliced
- ¼ lb. baked or boiled ham, cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
- ½ tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
- 1 tsp. salt
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. filé powder
- 3 cups boiled white rice
- Disjoint the chicken and place it in a large pot or kettle with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and, when cool enough to handle, skin, bone, and shred the meat. Strain the cooking broth into another large pot and reserve.
- In a large, heavy pot or casserole, heat the oil until very hot. Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook the roux over moderate heat, still whisking constantly, until it is the color of milk chocolate, about 4 minutes, taking special care not to burn the roux.
- Add the onions, green pepper, garlic, sausage, and ham, mix thoroughly, and continue cooking, stirring, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of the reserved broth, the shredded chicken, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir thoroughly.
- Add 2 more cups of the broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the pot from the heat, add the filé powder, stir, and let stand 10 minutes.
- Distribute equal amounts of the rice in the bottom of 6 soup bowls or plates and ladle gumbo over the top. Serve piping hot.