Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

4 T. butter (1/2 stick)
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
1 lb. andouille or other spicy sausage, cut into 1” pieces
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned is fine)
2 cups (15 oz. can) chicken broth
1 T. dried thyme
¼ cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 – 2 whole bay leaves
2 cups frozen okra pieces, thawed
1 tsp. gumbo file (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4-6 cups steamed white rice
1 bunch chopped green onions, garnish

In a large stockpot, heat butter until golden brown. Add the onions, peppers and celery. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic. Cook another minute. Stir in the flour, chicken and sausage pieces. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes so that the meat has browned on all sides but not necessarily cooked through and the butter and flour have formed a nutty “aroma”.

Add tomatoes, broth, thyme, hot sauce, bay leaves, okra, and gumbo file if using. Cover; simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired. Remove the bay leaves and serve over steamed rice with chopped green onions for garnish. Serves 4-6.

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