From Christopher Brewer, Southfield, Michigan
1 whole chicken or 2-1/2 pounds mixed pieces
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced (check with local meat markets for this lean, spicy sausage)
3 quarts water
1 pound fresh okra
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Fil powder (Fil powder, ground sassafras root, is available at most large stores)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
Like any good sauce or stew, this recipe takes about 5 hours to cook down, so don’t make any plans!
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces; cover with water and simmer approximately 1 hour until chicken is tender and easily removed from the bones. Pour off stock and set aside. Allow chicken to cool; remove from bones and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice the okra and sauté in about 2 tablespoons of oil until all ripeness is gone (about 1/2 hour).
In a large heavy pot, combine 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to make a dark brown roux. Be careful not to burn it; if you see black flecks, it’s burned. The roux is the cornerstone of all Cajun dishes. Once you learn how to make it you’ll never use cornstarch again!
Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until vegetables are tender.
Add sautéed okra, tomatoes and sliced sausage. Cook for about 15 minutes. Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, pepper and salt. Add the chicken stock, mix well and bring to a slow boil. Simmer for about 1-1/2 hours with the pot loosely covered, stirring occasionally. Add cooked chicken and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off excess oil.
Ladle over steamed rice in bowls or on large plates. Sprinkle Fil powder over individual servings. Serve with a wine like Chateau Grand Traverse Edelzwicker or something with a little spice.
(Provided by contributor)
Chateau Grand Traverse Edelzwicker
Chateau Chantal Nice Red
or another wine with a little spice