Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This past week, as I was relaxing in an all you can eat wonderland, I had two Food & Wine magazines to read. In a fantastic coincident I went out to buy the most recent issue on the Friday before leaving only to have my subscription start up on Saturday. The beauty of it all was I managed to get two different issues! I was in heaven.

The week was amazing and relaxing and by Wednesday I was seriously missing my kitchen. I kept dreaming about my beautiful All Clad frying pan that I haven't used enough, and which would be perfect for the New England scallops which just came into season. I was also craving fresh vegetables because if you can imagine, the tropical paradise that the Dominican republic is, does not include lots of vegetables.

On the flight home I found the perfect welcome home recipe in Aprils issue, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It was included in an article about Jess Jackson, the man behind Kendall-Jackson wines, and his quote about this recipe was to say half way through the bowl "We should have this once a week," and right after he finished, "OK, twice a week." How could I pass that up? So yesterday, I was still on vacation, although JR had to work, and I headed out to get all the ingredients to make a perfect Kentucky Gumbo.

I took my time, made it slowly, modified it a little from the recipe and it came out perfect! The consistency is almost cheesy, although there is no cheese in it. The shredded chicken and chicken andouille sausage add all the flavor you need. It's got just the right amount of kick and makes fantastic left-overs for work.

I haven't had my sister, brother-in-law and mother perfect it yet, so I may add some changes to this later, but here goes the most amazing Chicken-Sausage Gumbo recipe I have ever tried.

1 whole, roasted chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound chicken andouille sausage links (I used Whole Foods for these)
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with zesty jalapeƱos
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked instant brown rice
Tabasco sauce, for serving

1. Discard the chicken skin. Pour 4 cups chicken broth into a large pot, add the skinless chicken and simmer. After 20 minutes, pull the chicken out of the pot, allow both the chicken and the broth to cool.
2. In a fry pan, brown the sausages over moderately high heat, 5 minutes. Transfer to a separate plate.
3. Transfer the chicken broth to a separate container, and add 1 tablespoon to the pot. Add the celery, bell peppers and onion and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the flour smells nutty, 5 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Add the sausages to the pot. Cover and simmer over low heat until the sausages are cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
4. While your sausage is cooking, shred the chicken into bite size pieces and put aside. Once the sausage is done, transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Put both the chicken and the sausage into the pot and stir in the scallions and rice. Simmer until heated through, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and serve with Tabasco.

Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine - Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

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