I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time because frankly I either have made nothing that I haven’t posted already or, on a day when I made something perfectly splendid, I had not bothered to take pictures!
However, this dinner that I whipped up last night (whipped not really the right word here as it was a slight bit persnickety to prepare) was blog worthy and I knew this ahead of time so was also camera, and pen and paper ready!
It was wholly inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe for meat gumbo but as usual I changed things along the way to suit what I had on hand and because following a recipe to the letter is just not necessary. I think the one thing any chef will say about having to document a recipe is how they hate having to give exact ingredients and amounts and having to be super specific with instructions. Chefs don’t cook like that in real life and nor should you. Spontaneity is usually where the magic happens! In other words, consider my recipe here as a mere guideline and let your own culinary juices flow.
This is a great dish to make if you are throwing a dinner party as it can be made ahead of time and is so easy to serve!
What you need:
1 lb spicy sausage – cut into 1″ pieces (Italian, Chorizo, Andouille, or even a mild spicy sausage will do here)
4/5 chicken drumsticks
4/5 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (if you don’t have smoked, use what you have got!)
1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
olive oil for frying everything
4/6 slices smokey bacon – cut into large strips (whatever bacon you have on hand will do)
1 med/lrg sweet onion or yellow onion – diced
1 green pepper – diced
1 red pepper – diced
1 yellow pepper – diced
3 celery stalks – large dice or sliced
5 tbs all-purpose flour
2lbs sweet potatoes – peeled & diced (about two large)
4 large garlic cloves – peeled and minced
6 (or so) springs fresh thyme (Jamie picked the leaves, I say there is no point as they come off during the cooking and it’s a pain to do!)
6 cups chicken broth (have two more cups on hand just in case)
Chopped parsley for garnish if you have it!
Pot of cooked basmati rice (enough for six people so about 6 to 8 cups cooked rice, which translates to about 3 1/2 to 4 cups raw)
1 – Prep Everything first!
2 – Season chicken with the salt, paprika and cayenne pepper flakes. Put large pan on high heat and add olive oil. Fry chicken in batches until golden brown. Remove to a plate or bowl.
3 – Sear the sausages. Remove to a plate or bowl.
3 – Add bacon and fry for about a minutes before adding the peppers and onions. cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
4 – Add the flour and lower heat slightly. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
5 – Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, thyme stalks and broth and turn heat to high. Add the meat. When it boils, lower heat and cover. Simmer for about 1 hour (until chicken is fork tender and falling off the bone). Stir occasionally while it simmers.
Take the meat off the bone and return to gumbo (if you don’t want to do this, don’t bother!). Let this sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with rice and garnish with chopper parsley. This would also be good with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of hot sauce!