Chicken gumbo is one of my favourites from Paul Prudhomme, an authority on Louisiana-style cooking. Although the ingredients list is long, it’s simple to make. The recipe I use at home suggests using squirrel as an alternative to chicken – I’ll leave it up to you to decide!
FOR THE RUB
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
50g/2oz plain flour
1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
400g can chopped tomatoes
FOR THE GUMBO
4 skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 skinless chicken drumsticks
8 skinless chicken thighs
50g/2oz plain flour, for dusting
3 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
4 celery sticks, sliced
200g/8oz okra, stalks trimmed, then each finger cut into three
6 Kabanos sausages, or 200g chunk chorizo, thickly sliced
50g/2oz cooked ham, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
The day before, mix the rub ingredients together, then rub three quarters of it over the chicken pieces. Leave for up to 24 hrs, covered in the fridge. Save the rest of the mix to finish the dish.
Next day, make the tomato sauce. In a small bowl, beat the butter and flour together until smooth. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then whisk in the flour and butter, whisking until smooth and thickened to about the consistency of double cream. Add the tomatoes, then set aside.
Toss chicken in flour and shake off excess. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large shallow pan, then fry the chicken until lightly golden all over. You’ll need to do this in batches, using 1 tbsp oil each time. Return legs and thighs to the pan, pour tomato sauce over, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins. Add the breasts, then simmer for another 20 mins until the breast meat is just cooked and leg meat tender.
While the chicken simmers, boil the eggs for 10 mins, cool quickly under cold water, then peel and quarter. Melt the butter in another pan and gently fry the onion, pepper, celery and okra for 10 mins until softened. Add to the chicken pan with the sausage, ham, eggs, spring onions, parsley and the rest of the rub from the day before, then heat for a few more mins until piping hot. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread.
603 kcalories, protein 73g, carbohydrate 16g, fat 28g, saturated fat 11g, fibre 3g, sugar 4g, salt 2.39g