I finally made my first gumbo. I meant to make it for the Super Bowl (because it was in New Olreans) and didn’t. I meant to make it for Mardi Gras a couple weeks ago, and didn’t. So I made this Chicken and Andoulle Gumbo with Muffalletta Sandwiches for the Oscars last night. How appropriate?
Depending on who is making the gumbo, you could have andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp, crab, tomatoes, okra, file’ powder, or some combination of each. The main thing is it has to be hearty, flavorful, and southern.
Some old southern cookbooks used to call it Gombo. And in case you care, file’ powder is made from sassafras leaves and okra is a vegetable that looks like a green pod and is used as a thickening agent in gumbos and stews.
True Muffuletta bread is rarely found outside of New Orleans unless you mail-order it or make it yourself. In my case, a round Italian loaf or Ciabatta will do just fine.
Now I’m talking in my southern drawl as I write this…dang….
Chicken and Adouille Gumbo
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3/4 cup of canola or peanut oil
1 cup of plain flour
4 quarts of chicken stock (plus additional water if needed)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 Tbls. of fresh or dried thyme
2 Tbls. Cajun Seasoning
1/2 pound or 4 cups of fresh or frozen okra, chopped (I used frozen)
1 lb chicken meat, cooked and deboned
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced thin
4-6 cups of cooked white rice
Heat a large stock pot to med-high heat; add the oil and then the flour, blending well to make a roux. Continue stirring constantly on medium to medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes as the roux turns color from white to tan, then to a peanut butter color, and then a medium to dark brown color like melted chocolate.
Next, add the onions first and cook for at least 5 minutes until they start to caramelize in the roux. Then add the celery, bell pepper, garlic and thyme to the hot roux, stir and cook on low heat for about 5 more minutes.
Next add the chicken stock over high heat along with the chicken, sausage, diced tomatoes and cajun seasoning. Bring gumbo to a boil. In the meantime, fry the okra in a few tablespoons of oil for a couple minutes and then add to the pot. Once brought to a boil, lower heat to med-low and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve hot over a bed of rice.
1 ½ cups pitted mixed oil-packed olives
2 tablespoon capers
½ cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 Tbls. parsley leaves
1 cup giardiniera (Italian-style pickled vegetable salad)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbls. red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large muffuletta-style roll (see note above)
1/2 pound thinly sliced sweet soppressata
1/2 pound thinly sliced tavern ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced capicola
1/2 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
Combine olives, capers, peppers, parsley, giardiniera, and garlic in the food processor. Pulse to chop until no pieces larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer to a bowl. Add vineger and olive oil and stir to combine. For best results, let olive salad rest overnight.
Split muffuletta roll in half and spread each cut surface generously with olive salad. Layer half of soppressata on bottom, followed by half of ham, half of capicola, and half of provolone. Repeat layers with remaining meat and cheese.
Close sandwiches and press down gently to compress. For best flavor, wrap tightly in paper or plastic and let rest for 1 hour before serving.
Cut into triangular wedges to serve.