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posted: 7/8/2014 5:45 AM

Gumbo Ya Ya

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2 pounds smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces

1 whole 3-4 lb chicken fryer (begin making stock w/ the following ingredients labeled **) recipe to follow

1 each carrot, celery stalk, onion, 1" chunk ginger, 4 garlic cloves, 3 Tbsp kosher salt, 1 tsp pepper, cup white wine, 12 cups water in large stockpot**

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped celery

8 cups chicken stock

2 cups chopped bell peppers (can use frozen)

2 cups cut okra ( use frozen)

11/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3 large bay leaves

2 Tablespoons whole Thyme leaves

2 Tablespoons ground Allspice

Chicken Stock

Assemble Chicken stock by placing rinsed fryer chicken in large stockpot and add the water, vegetables and salt & pepper as listed. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium low boil for 30 minutes. Meanwhile chop the vegetables and sausage for the recipe, place vegetables aside for later. After 30 minutes take whole chicken out and let cool slightly in shallow pan. Separate legs from whole chicken and let cool. Cut breast meat off chicken, take thigh and drumstick meat off legs and set aside. Place all bones and skin back in pot and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or more on medium. The longer you cook (up to 2 hrs), the richer the broth will become. After cooking time, pour broth through strainer and optimally into a gravy defatter pitcher. Stock is now ready to use in recipe. Discard solids from broth pot.

In a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain. Set aside.

Combine the remaining 1/3 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cup chicken stock and stir frequently for 10-15 minutes, to make a brown roux, the color of peanut butter. Add the tomato paste and stir.

Add the onions and celery, and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, bay leaves, and thyme. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add green peppers and okra and stir to combine, cover and continue to cook on medium for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile tear the cooked chicken breast and dark meat into bite size pieces.

Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes to heat chicken through. If needed, use corn starch slurry, 1 Tablespoon at a time and stir into slightly boiling gumbo, until desired thickness is achieved. Usually it takes about 3 Tablespoons to thicken the gumbo.

Turn off heat, take out bay leaves and discard.

Serve with cooked white rice and hot sauce if desired.

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