I know I've already posted my "kinda lazy" chicken gumbo recipe a while back that uses the convenience of a rotisserie chicken and store bought chicken stock, but if you have the time making it from scratch really is the best way. So, I'm going to post the "harder" version. This is how your grandma made gumbo;)
Cooking the chicken whole yourself isn't really that hard, and you get home made chicken broth to use in the gumbo as a bonus. I started buying chicken whole a few months ago because local free range chicken is less expensive when purchased whole.
1 whole chicken
1 bay leaf
3 medium size onions, chopped and divided
2 bell peppers
6 ribs of celery, chopped and divided
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 bunches of shallots
1 LB frozen chopped okra (okay, almost from scratch)
1 LB smoked sausage
1 TBSP salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp Tony Chachere
1 tsp sriracha chili paste
1 TBSP gumbo file
+ cooked rice and gumbo file for serving
Wash chicken and remove anything hiding out or stuffed on the inside. Place in a large soup pot with 1 chopped onion, a handful of fresh thyme, 1 celery rib cut into 1" pieces & any other veggies you have on hand that you want to add. Fill pot with water just to cover the chicken by about 1". Bring to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 35 minutes. It's done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Strain the broth and set aside in the soup pot. Skim the fat off the top of the broth. Sit chicken on a cutting board to cool enough to handle.
Add 1/4 cup of butter to a large skillet heated to medium heat. Whisk in flour and whisk vigorously until the roux reaches a nice golden brown color. When the roux is ready, add the chopped bell peppers, celery & onions to the skillet and cook until tender. Add chopped shallots and stir to combine. Add this mixture to the soup pot and using a ladle, pour a little (about a cup) of the broth into the skillet and whisk to get all of the goodies off the bottom of the skillet. Return the broth to the soup pot. Cook frozen okra according to directions and add to the soup pot. Add spices to the soup pot. Cut smoked sausage into slices and brown on both sides in a skillet. Add sausage to the soup pot and drain any fat out of the skillet. Add about a cup of the broth to the skillet again and whisk to get up any brown bits and return broth to the soup pot. Cook on low 1 - 2 hours and serve over cooked rice with gumbo file.
Stepped it up a little this time with the sriracha;)
When it becomes golden brown it's ready for the veggies. I took it slightly darker but since I was photographing I didn't want it to burn....
The holy trinity of Cajun cooking: onions, celery & bell peppers.
I like my gumbo murky... lurky... so I use a lot of file. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. I listed the amounts I used in case you have no idea, you will at least have a starting point.
This gumbo is screaming for an LSU game to watch:)