- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 1/2 teaspoon gumbo file
- Hot cooked white rice, for serving
- Special equipment: cheesecloth
In a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the flour and whisk until combined and just beginning to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, whisking occasionally, until it is a deep peanut butter brown color, 15 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until the fat has rendered and is lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and brown in the sausage drippings. Remove from the pot and place in the bowl with the sausage. Stir in the tomato paste until smooth and darkens slightly (be careful not to burn), about 1 minute. Add the celery, onions, peppers and cayenne to the pot and continue to cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until just aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the warm roux, a bit at a time, until combined. Tie the picking spice in a bit of cheesecloth and add to the pot along with the chicken and sausage. Simmer all together until thickened and the flavors have blended, about 45 minutes.
Add the shrimp and gumbo file and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked through and the gumbo has thickened, about 5 minutes. Discard the pickling spice bundle. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Serve the gumbo over rice.
Cook's Note: Pickling spice contains chiles, coriander, cumin, ginger, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaves, brown mustard, yellow mustard, cloves and turmeric. You can make your own it you can't find it premade.