As I always say, “First, you make a roux,” and I mean that literally. The following is a dish I was introduced to by the nephew of the late Sherian Reed, longtime economist and Parish Chair of the LSU Ag Center in Avoyelles. I was working a trade show at Essence Festival when I stumbled upon both Johnny Reed and Gumbo-laya.
Gumbo-laya is the perfect pairing of two awesome French Creole foods–Gumbo and Jambalaya. It’s so simple—you substitute jambalaya for rice in your gumbo—that I wish I could of thought of it; but that is beside the point. Here is the recipe.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1 Chicken, Cut Up, Rinsed and Drained
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Cup Chopped Celery
3/4 Cup Dark Brown Roux (See Below)
2-3 Quarts Water
1 Pound Smoked Sausage (Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces)
Tony Chachere Seasoning, to taste
Mix 1 cup flour and 1 cup cooking oil in heavy pot on medium heat and stir constantly to prevent scorching or burning. Cook until mixture is dark brown. Store any unused roux in a tightly sealed, glass jar. Commercial roux maybe used.
Brown chicken in oil; remove and sauté the onion and celery until onion is clear. Add roux and stir until roux is well blended with vegetables. Add water. Add chicken and sausage. Season with Tony Chachere to taste. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours and serve over jambalaya in bowls.
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
1 1/2 Pounds Cubed Skinned, Boneless Chicken Breast
1 1/2 Pounds Cut Smoked Sausage (1/2 Inch Slices)
1 Medium Onion Chopped
3 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine
1 Can Beef Bouillon Broth
2 Cups Water
3 1/2 Cup Rice, Washed and Drained
3 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Use a large heavy pot with cover. On low heat, melt butter/margarine. Add all remaining ingredients. Bake covered, at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour. Stir twice during cooking. Add salt and pepper right before cooking is complete. You will have to taste since seasoning will depend on how seasoned the sausage is. Serve in place of rice with gumbo.
Your version of gumbo and jambalaya can be substituted, but best results are when the same ingredients are used. For example, smoked sausage, onion, celery, etc. Bon apetit!