There isn’t much authentic about this recipe (and technically it’s more of a jambalaya, being roux-thickened rather than using okra or filé), but this one gets rave reviews so I’m sharing it anyway.
- 1 pound of chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound of sausage (andouille is best but any cured sausage is fine), cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup light olive oil (a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil is okay as well)
- 2-3 ribs celery, diced
- 2-3 carrots, diced
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 can tomatoes (crushed or diced)
- 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1 can black-eyed peas (or black or red beans)
- 1 tablespoon each thyme, oregano, ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2-3 bay leaves
- crushed red pepper to taste
Start to sauté the sausage in a large frying pan, with a small amount of oil to get it started.
While the sausage browns, make a roux in your large pot by mixing the flour and oil, stirring constantly on medium-low heat until it darkens to a peanut butter or chocolate shade. Keep stirring constantly to prevent burning.
As an alternative to a stirred roux, you can also try spreading the flour out on a baking sheet and toasting it under the broiler until it turns brown, and then simply mix it with water or oil.
Once the roux gets down to your desired color, add the celery, carrots, and onion and stir until the vegetables are fully coated. Stir occasionally as they cook; the carrots should become slightly soft and the onions should turn translucent.
As soon as the sausage finishes browning, add it to the roux, but retain the drippings. Cook the chicken in the sausage drippings until lightly browned. Add the chicken and drippings to the pot.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, adding salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer on low for an hour or so, until thick.
Serve over rice (preferably jasmine or basmati) and warm crusty bread rolls. Pairs well with shiraz.