Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

A Fat Tuesday Treat! Gumbo_Finished

When I realized that Fat Tuesday was almost upon us, I knew I needed to come up with something to honor the day. After all, it is the last day before lent, which means I will not be able to indulge in this type of thing again until Easter. …BAZINGA! I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I? But even if I don’t stop eating meat for a month doesn’t mean I can’t have an overindulgent meal to celebrate. The recipe may seem a little involved, but fortunately both the roux and the chicken can be prepared ahead of time, so by the time you are ready to put the gumbo together, the entire thing can be done in less than an hour.

THE ROUX

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I admit that I was pretty stressed out about the Roux. That mysterious substance upon which good gumbo is built. Yes, I read all the the horror stories and heard all the warnings. “You can’t make roux, you dang yankee!”, “You’re gonna burn it hundreds of times before you finally get it to turn out right!”, “you can only make a roux if your mama made roux, and her mama before her, and her mama before her, and her mama before her and the ape that she evolved from made roux.” And “you cannot make gumbo unless you are in possession of The One Ring To Roux Them All. But I managed to put that out of my mind, steeled my nerves and did what any red-blooded American boy would do… I cheated! Well, only a little. Rather than stand over a hot stove, stirring for up to 90 minutes until my arm is ready to fall off, I used this method (just the roux part, not the entire recipe) popularized by Alton Brown, and made it mostly in the oven. I made the roux a couple days in advance. It keeps fine in the fridge for a few days. And making it in advance gives you plenty of time to do it over on the off chance that something does go awry. Since this was a special recipe for Fat Tuesday, I went all out and used lard, but you can use vegetable oil if you like. When making a dark roux, it is best not to use butter, as the milk solids can burn and ruin the roux. If using oil, you just need to combine the oil and flour and pop it in the oven. Since I was using lard, I started it on the stovetop over medium-low heat until the lard was melted, then I put it in the oven.

The Chicken

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I like to cook the chicken and make the stock at the same time. Starting with a 3.5-4 lb. chicken, throw it in the pressure cooker along with some carrots, celery and onion plus a little salt. Add about six cups of water. You can add a little more water if there is room in your pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure for 25 minutes, do a quick release and carefully remove the chicken to a plate. It may come apart some, but you are going to pull the meat off anyway so that is fine. After the chicken is removed, strain the liquid and save for the gumbo. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones.

Chicken_Bowl

The Gumbo

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If you made the roux and chicken ahead of time, take them out of the fridge and hour or so before starting the gumbo. Now that the stressful stuff is out of the way, you can relax and get going on your gumbo. Chop up a couple green peppers, a large onion and some celery (known as “the trinity” in Louisiana cooking) and some garlic. Chopped_Veg

Slice a package of Andouille sausage into approximately 1/2″ slices. In a tablespoon or so of fat, in the pressure cooker pot, brown the sausage, then remove to a plate. Sauté the onion, green pepper and celery in the sausage oil until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more. Saussage_Sliced Add in a couple tablespoons of the roux.

At this point, the roux is just for flavoring so don’t add too much. If it is too thick, you will have a problem getting it to reach pressure. Mix with vegetables and cook for a couple minutes. Add the sausage and all the chicken to the vegetable mixture. Add in the spices and stir for a couple minutes. Add four cups of the stock (more or less depending on how liquid it looks. You don’t want it to be too watery. In my 6 quart electric pressure cooker, 4 cups was perfect. Add 1 tablespoon better than bouillon chicken flavor (this is optional, I like the extra flavor it ads, but it would be fine without). Toss in the bay leaves Turn heat to high, place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.

Chicken_Stock_Finished

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (if using an electric pressure cooker, it will do this step for you). Set timer for seven minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release. Lower heat to medium to maintain low boil. Add in four or five tablespoons of the roux (depending on how thick you like it, I used five) while stirring to help avoid lumps. Serve it over rice with some crusty bread, or the traditional potato salad. Or both! It is Fat Tuesday, after all. I know, I am using Fat Tuesday as an excuse to break all the rules, but it’s as good an excuse as any. Some people even put the potato salad right into the gumbo. I may be a bit “northern” to try that.

Gumbo_4 I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! 

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
A tasty, spicy gumbo made in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
For The Roux
  • 8 oz. by weight fat (I used lard. Vegetable oil will also work.)
  • 8 oz. by weight flour
For The Chicken
  • 1 3.5-4 lb. Chicken
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in 2 in pieces
  • ½ large onion, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups water
For The Gumbo
  • 7 Tablespoons Roux
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt to start (then to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper to start (then to taste)
  • File Gumbo for serving
  • 4 cups chicken stock (made with the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor (optional)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Meat from a 3.5-4 pound chicken, removed from bones
  • 1 package (12-16 oz.) andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
Instructions
For The Roux
(Adapted from Alton Brown)
This is best when made a couple days in advance
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Over medium-high heat, in an iron skillet or dutch oven, put fat in pan
  3. When fat is liquid, add flour and stir until combined
  4. Put into oven
  5. Stir every 20 minutes until desired color is reached (I left it in oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes until it reached a dark brown color). Dark brown gives it a very smoky taste. If you prefer a bit milder, just cook until approximately the color of peanut butter
  6. Keep in oven until slightly lighter than desired color, it will continue darken some after removing from oven
  7. If saving for later, let it cool then put in a container and refrigerate
For The Chicken
  1. Put chicken, carrot, celery, onion and salt in pressure cooker
  2. Turn heat to high and cover pressure cooker
  3. When high pressure is reached, turn heat down to maintain high pressure
  4. Set timer for 25 minutes
  5. When time is up, do a quick release of the pressure
  6. Carefully remove chicken to plate
  7. The chicken may not still be in one piece, so carefully remove all pieces to the plate
  8. Strain the stock in another pot
  9. If doing this ahead of time, wait until cool enough, then put in container and refrigerate until needed
  10. When cool enough, remove chicken from bones, discarding skin
  11. Put into a container and put in refrigerator until needed
For The Gumbo
  1. In 1 tablespoon fat or oil, brown sausage over medium-high heat
  2. Remove sausage to plate
  3. In sausage fat, sauté "the trinity" (Onion, Celery, Green Pepper)
  4. When it starts to soften, add in the garlic
  5. Sauté for another couple minutes
  6. Add two tablespoons roux and stir
  7. Add the cajun/creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne pepper
  8. Add the sausage back in
  9. Add the chicken to the pot
  10. Add 4 cups broth
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. Add 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken (Optional)
  13. Toss in Bay Leaves
  14. Place cover on pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  15. Bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (electric pressure cookers will do this automatically)
  17. Set time for seven minutes
  18. When time is up, do a quick release
  19. Adjust heat to maintain a low boil
  20. Add in 4-5 tablespoons roux depending on thickness desired, stirring constantly
  21. Cook for an additional 5 minutes
  22. Sprinkle with File Gumbo when serving
  23. Serve in bowls, with rice or potato salad and warm bread

Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Fat Tuesday!

You’ll Roux The Day… 20150210_212856

Fat Tuesday is almost upon us. In Detroit where I grew up it is known as Paczki Day, a day when many Polish filled donuts are consumed. But probably most of you equate Fat Tuesday with New Orleans and the tasty dishes they make there. Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, Etouffee, Gumbo, the list goes on. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! It almost passed me by until I happened to see something about it on the interwebs. “I’ve got to make something special for this!”, I exclaimed. So towards that end, I have already prepared my roux for my special Fat Tuesday recipe. The roux wasn’t made in the pressure cooker, but the main attraction will certainly be.

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So check back this weekend to see how I plan on utilizing this chocolatey-looking concoction.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!