Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shrimp, Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo

What completes a meal for you? Is it full courses? Dessert? Something else? For me, it's rice. I know... a little strange, but not so strange considering my Asian upbringing in which I ate rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I think of Southern fare and rice, the obvious dish is a Shrimp, Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo. A melange of shrimp, chicken and Andouille sausage make this gumbo a classic Southern specialty that is perfect with steamed rice. I made this for my Southern Inspired Sunday Dinner for friends and my only regret is that I didn't make more. With a full pot of gumbo to serve up, I was hopeful to have enough leftovers. I was wrong. But the good thing is making this dish isn't hard or too much effort since I could easily make this dish on a lazy weekend. If you want a taste of Southern fare, here's a dish for a good stick to your ribs meal...

For my dinner, I invited a few of my long time friends over to meet The Baron. Everyone seemed to have a good time, ate plenty, and well, suffered from a food coma afterwards. Clearly, that's a sign the meal was a success! This definitely was one of my favorite dishes of the day because it was hearty and filling... and of course, I ate it with rice. Gumbo is traditionally served with rice but you can also eat it as is or even with some good bread.

The key to this dish is to really work on the roux from the very beginning. It will give you the rich color, nice consistency and a smoky flavor that makes gumbo even better. Getting the roux a deep reddish brown color is important so exercise some patience over medium low heat. If you work over too high of heat, you'll end up with more of a burnt flavor.

Shrimp, Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo
recipe adapted from Epicurious

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour {or gluten free flour blend}
2 large onions, chopped
3 bell peppers, seeded, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 head of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper {optional}
1/2 cup dry white wine
142 cup chopped fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 pounds andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 pounds peeled deveined medium shrimp
Minced fresh Italian parsley
Steamed rice for serving

Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat oil until very hot and almost smoking. Add flour and reduce heat to medium low. Stir constantly until mixture is dark reddish brown, about 20 minutes, to create the roux.

Add garlic, chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, and chopped celery and cook until onions are soft and brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

Add wine, thyme, and bay leaves; bring to boil, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes with juice, clam juice, broth, sausage, and chicken; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Add shrimp to pot and cook shrimp until just opaque in center, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season gumbo to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with minced parsley and serve with steamed rice.