Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
5 celery stalks, divided
3 yellow onions, divided
4 garlic cloves, divided
1 4-lb. chicken, rinsed, dried and cut into pieces
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 green bell peppers
1 cup butter
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
2½ Tbsp. dried basil
2½ Tbsp. dried oregano
2½ Tbsp. dried thyme
2½ Tbsp. paprika
½ Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. andouille sausage, quartered lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 12-oz. packages frozen okra
1 Tbsp. gumbo file*
White rice or cornbread, for serving
• Roughly chop 2 celery stalks, cut 1 yellow onion in half, leaving the skin on, and smash 2 garlic cloves. Place all the vegetables in a 7- to 8-quart soup pot and add the chicken, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover with water by 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
• Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer gently until the chicken is falling off the bone, adding water if needed to keep the chicken submerged, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
• Meanwhile, finely dice the remaining 3 celery stalks, 2 yellow onions and 2 green bell peppers and set aside. Mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves and set aside.
• Remove the chicken from the pot. Strain the broth, discarding the vegetables, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken, discarding the bones and skin.
• In an 8-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour. Once the flour is incorporated, continue to stir constantly with a wooden spoon so the roux doesn’t stick or burn, reducing heat if necessary, until the roux reaches the color of peanut butter, about 15 to 20 minutes.
• Add the reserved celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved garlic, the basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne and remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Stir to toast the spices, 1 to 2 minutes.
• Add the andouille and stir to combine. Add the cooled stock 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Cook, stirring to make sure the roux doesn’t stick to bottom and burn, 25 to 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently another 45 minutes. Stir in the chicken, okra and gumbo file, and simmer 20 minutes.
• Serve over white rice or with cornbread.
* Gumbo file is a powder made from sassafras leaves used in Creole cooking.