Matt Lewis’ Chicken, Seafood & Andouille Sausage Gumbo

This recipe is kicky with big, bold flavor and comes straight from the expert himself, Matt Lewis of Where Ya At Matt? (Do note that this will make a party-size amount of gumbo; scale down the ingredients to craft a smaller batch.)

Ingredients:
1 cup canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds Andouille sausage, cut into half moons
2 pounds chicken thighs, diced
2 pounds shell-on crab, any type
2 pounds shell-on shrimp, tail on
3 onions, peeled and diced
2 Bell peppers, diced
4 celery ribs, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
16 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups okra, diced
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup Creole spice blend
Splash of sherry vinegar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste

Method:
1. To create the roux: In a heavy bottom sauté pan, preferably a cast iron pan, add the oil and heat almost to the smoking point, then add the flour while whisking constantly. (Pro tip: You want to add enough flour to the mix so that it looks like wet sand at low tide. Also, don’t stop stirring, you want a constant bubbling and remember to clean the edges of the pot often.) Keep stirring until you reach your desired color, I like a nice café au lait color, but you can go lighter or darker. Once desired color is achieved, set aside and let cool.

2. Sauté the Andouille sausage in a large stock pot being careful not to burn it. Remove the sausage, reserve about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the sausage at the bottom of the pot and sauté the chicken, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Once chicken is browned on all sides, remove and set aside with the sausage, reserving about 3 tablespoons of oil this time in the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the diced onions, Bell pepper and celery to the reserved oil and caramelize until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the Andouille and chicken back into the pot and stir well. Now, add the stock and bring to a boil. At this point, you will begin to add the cooled roux to the liquid as you stir constantly with the whisk. As the liquid comes back to a boil, the roux will fully incorporate and start to thicken the gumbo. Add enough to give you a thick, stew-like consistency.

4. Adjust the temperature so that the gumbo remains at a slow simmer. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, and okra and simmer for about an hour. Once simmering for about 30 minutes, add the crab (shell and all). Once simmering for the full hour, add the shrimp, Worcestershire, Creole spice, hot sauce and adjust the salt to your liking. Cook until the shrimp is cooked through and just before serving you may want to add a couple of drops of sherry vinegar to brighten up the flavor.

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