A combination of Greg Dickinson’s techniques and flavor preferences and his mother’s traditional family gumbo from her food blog (Weekdayrambler.com), this gumbo is made with chicken thighs and legs, sausages, and a roux that takes 15 to 20 minutes. Dickinson’s mother, Dot, prefers to use oil and broth for her roux, Dickinson insists on the heartier combination of olive oil and meat renderings, then the kick of spicy white vermouth. Serve this gumbo over bay leaf-infused jasmine rice.
2pounds chicken thighs, legs, or combination Salt and black pepper, to taste1¼cups olive oil 1pound sweet pork sausage, cut into large pieces1¼cups flour1large onion, thinly sliced1bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced4stalks celery, coarsely chopped 2cloves garlic, finely chopped1tablespoon dried oregano1tablespoon dried thyme1tablespoon dried basil1tablespoon fennel seed1teaspoon crushed red pepper2bay leaves6cups chicken stock1cup white vermouth
1. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large flameproof casserole, heat ¼ cup olive oil. Brown the chicken for 4 minutes on a side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. In the same pan, brown the sausages, turning often, for 5 minutes; set aside.
3. Lower the heat, and add remaining 1 cup olive oil to the pan. When it is hot, sprinkle the flour a bit at a time into the oil, whisking constantly. Whisk any sediment left by the chicken and sausage in the bottom of the pan. Continue whisking the roux, which is the consistency of wet sand, for 15 to 20 minutes as it begins to change color, from a light peanut butter brown to a rich chocolate color; it will smell toasty and nutty. Do not leave the roux unattended as it burns easily.
4. Fold in the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook the vegetables in the roux, stirring often, for 10 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with oregano, thyme, basil, fennel, red pepper, and bay leaves. Stir well. Return the chicken and sausages to the pan. Add the chicken stock and vermouth. Stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 2 hours or until the broth reduces slightly and the chicken is cooked through. Katherine Hysmith. Adapted from Greg Dickinson and Weekdayrambler.com