When I travelled in the US a few years ago, I fell in love with New Orleans; its intoxicating clash of cultures, music and food was something I’d never seen. Gumbo is a dish that celebrates that culinary melting pot; a deep, smoky stew that tastes so good and, well, quite unlike anything you’d have had before!
Takes 45 minutes, makes 4 work lunches
1 pack of chicken thighs, skinned, de-boned and chopped into chunks (or whole, like in the pic!)
1 Andouille sausage, chopped into chunks (Polish sausage kabanos will do if you can’t get your hands on it)
2 large onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tin of plum tomatoes
Butter, 3 tablespoons
Plain flour, 3 tablespoons
500ml veg stock (using a stock cube is more than fine)
Oregano, 1 tablespoon
Cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon
Thyme, 1 tablespoon
1 bay leaf
A handful of parsley, chopped
A couple of spring onions, chopped
Cooked rice, to serve
Salt and pepper
1) Pre heat the oven to 180C. Lay the chicken and sausage on an oiled baking tray. Season with salt and pepper, roast for 15-20 minutes in the oven until crispy.
2) Put a saucepan on a medium heat. Melt the butter with the flour and cook slowly. You’re making a roux, but you want to cook it out until it resembles the colour of dark caramel. This will take some time (5-10 mins) so be patients (and careful, it gets hot!). 3) Once the base at the right colour, throw in your onions, celery, pepper and garlic, along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir and turn down the heat, cooking the veg out for 10 mins or so.
4) Add the veg stock, a bit at a time, stirring well. Bring everything to the boil, add the chopped tomatoes, your dried herbs and spices, chicken and sausage, and reduce to a gentle simmer.
5) Simmer everything for around 20 mins. Taste and check the seasoning. It should be warmingly spiced.
6) Serve with rice and a scattering of parsley and spring onions.