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Gumbo, a stew-like dish loaded with flavor and personality, is the epitome of comfort food. I often call this chicken and sausage gumbo my “signature dish” because it embodies comfort, the marriage of the Old and New World cuisine, is full of flavor, is inexpensive and great for feeding a large crowd, stirs up holiday memories while building a legacy for our family and was my winning dish at a charitable cooking competition close to my heart.

Stirring Memories and Building Legacies

Over the years this gumbo served with crusty French bread with herb butter, Claude’s Cajun Coleslaw on the side and an outstanding rum cake for dessert has become our family’s Christmas Eve tradition.

Three years ago I represented NBC 17 at the Cooks for Books Charity Competition. I served this meal to the judges and guests and won!

This post is part of the Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast series! This week food bloggers like me are sharing our favorite recipes for stews! Join the conversation by using the hashtag #ComfortFoodFeast

Just look at all of these wonderful stew recipes!

The Cultural Dish: Traditional Beef and Irish Stew
Taste With the Eyes: Spinach Mushroom Risotto With Pecans
Devour: Top 3 Chicken Stews
Virtually Homemade: Winter Vegetable Stew
The Sensitive Epicure: Gluten-Free Shepherd’s Pie With Lamb and Rosemary
FN Dish: Stand-Up Stews

Here’s how I made this delicious gumbo!

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo
Prep Time:
15
mins
Cook Time:
1 hour
Total Time:
75 mins

Gumbo, a stew-like dish loaded with flavor and personality, is the epitome of comfort food.

SERVES 8

Ingredients

1 lb. Andouille sausage, cut into slices
4 bone-in chicken breasts, with skin removed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts of water
3 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken Base, check for taste
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning or your favorite creole spice
1 teaspoon dried thyme or throw a few sprigs of thyme in (makes it easy to fish out later)
Hot Cooked Long-Grain Rice for top of gumbo

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Instructions

1. In a large Dutch oven, cook your Andouille sausage over medium high heat until crispy. Stirring constantly. Remove and place on paper towels.

2. Reserve the drippings and place chicken breasts sin side down in the pan and brown both sides. You are not cooking your chicken all the way through. You are simply browning it. Set aside once golden browned.

3. Keeping all of the delicious drippings in the pan, add enough vegetable oil to equal about 1/2 cup. Add flour and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it becomes golden brown. I don’t like it too dark. You are making a roux-see how easy that was?

4. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Stirring often until the vegetables are almost tender-almost 8 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cook one minute.

5. Stir in the water, chicken base and thyme. Add the chicken and the sausage. Reduce eh heat and simmer for about one hour. The chicken should almost fall off of the bone! turn off the heat, remove the chicken onto a palate and let cool a bit. Discard the bay leaves. Remove the chicken from the bone and place back in the soup.

6. Make a pot of rice. 2 parts of water to one part of rice with a tablespoon of butter — perfection!

7. Watch as your guests place some rice in the bottom of the pan and become giddy as they ladle the Gumbo over it. You must serve this with warm crusty French Bread…trust me! Your guests will feel loved and I assure you will come back and perhaps even kiss you!