We’re eating hearty chicken, andouille sausage & tasso ham gumbo thickened with dark roux and okra, served over white rice with a garnish of sliced green onions and a healthy dose of hot sauce.
Hellooooo football season! Every January once the bowl games have ended and the NFL season is wrapping up, I start counting down the days until the first game I really care about. (LSU, duh.) As September gets closer I’ve even been known to count the hours or seconds even until kickoff. It should come as no surprise then, that since I learned to love football while taking the long road through my undergrad at LSU, cajun tailgating food is near and dear to my heart! This month the recipes I’m developing using Knorr Homestyle Stock are tailgating themed. There was no way that I was gonna pass up the opportunity to make a pot of gumbo just in time for LSU’s opening game against Oregon!!! GEAUX TIGERS! The tigers pulled off a big victory over the #3 ranked team in the nation and I pulled off a hella good pot of gumbo. Pretty sure this was the best gumbo I’ve ever made. Ever. And this biatch has made some gumbo. As always, with soups or stews (or anything braised) it’s better if you make it at least a day in advance… which is perfect for tailgating. All you have to do on game day is heat up the pot, crack a beer and you’re GTG!
*Side note: As I mention in the footer of the recipe below – don’t stress out if you can’t find tasso ham or andouille sausage. You can simply substitute any smoked ham steak or any smoked sausage of your choice. It’ll still be delicious. I swear.
*I am a professional recipe developer being paid by Knorr as part of the Knorr 4 promotion. While Knorr is footing the bill, all content and opinions comes directly from my (sometimes offbeat and slightly cheesy) brain.
1 tsp canola oil
8 oz andouille sausage, cut in half moons*
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 stick (8tbsp or 1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow onions, peeled & diced
2 medium red bell peppers, stem & seeds removed then diced
5 stalks celery, diced
10 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or two sprigs fresh thyme)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2 bay leaves
2 tubs Knorr Homestyle Style Chicken Stock
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic
1/2 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
8 cups water, plus extra if needed
8 oz Tasso ham, cut in 1/2" pieces*
1 (16oz) bag frozen cut okra
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
cooked white rice
sliced green onions
Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Preheat for 3 minutes then add canola oil to the pot. Add andouille sausage. Brown sausage, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove sausage from pot & set aside to cool then refrigerate until needed. Leave all rendered fat in the pot then return to the heat.
While the sausage is browning, season chicken thighs with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper on all sides. Brown chicken thighs in the rendered fat over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side until caramelized. Cook in two batches if necessary to not over-crowd the pot. Remove chicken from pot and set aside. Drain off all remaining oil.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Place butter in pot. Melt butter then stir in all-purpose flour to make the roux. Cook the roux over medium-low heat stirring constantly until roux turns a nutty deep amber, about 30-45 minutes.
As soon as the roux reaches deep amber, add the onion, bell pepper & celery to the pot. Stir. Saute the aromatics in the roux until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, allspice & bay leaves. Stir and saute for another minute. Add Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock, canned tomatoes & Cabernet Sauvignon. Stir. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 8 cups of water to the pot. Stir. Allow the gumbo to return to a boil before adding the browned chicken and tasso ham. Reduce heat to low to medium-low. Simmer gumbo for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until chicken thighs are fork tender. Using tongs and a fork, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces. Add the brown sausage and frozen okra to the pot. Continue simmering the gumbo for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add more water. The consistency should be a thick viscous stew. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired with more kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. (As both the sausage and ham have a relatively high salt content, resist the urge to season the gumbo until close to the end of the cooking process.)
Remove from heat and allow gumbo to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Once cool, refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 2 days to allow flavors to marry. Remove from fridge and scrape off the layer of fat that has solidified on top. Reheat gumbo over medium heat until hot then serve over white rice with hot sauce and sliced green onions.
Active cooking time: 1 hour
Inactive cooking time: 4 hours
Servings: about 16 (1 cup) servings
*If you have trouble finding Tasso Ham or Andouille sausage, feel free to substitute any smoked ham steak or smoked sausage you can find.