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Gumbo Ya Ya

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In honor of Mardi Gras, today’s recipe feature is Gumbo Ya Ya. Delicious flavors come together to make a wonderful stew. Bone-in chicken provides fantastic flavor and the meat will become so tender, it will fall from the bone. This dish serves eight as a main course or 12 as an appetizer. Healthy and joyous eating!

Gumbo Ya Ya (Recipe courtesy Jamie Shannon)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. plus ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2-1/2 lb. skinless chicken thighs, preferably bone-in
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free variety, if needed)
  • 1 medium bunch celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 large onions, diced
  • 4 green or red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • ½ to 1 tsp. cayenne or 5 fresh cayenne peppers, diced
  • ¾ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp. dried basil
  • ¾ tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken broth (gluten-free variety, if needed)
  • 1-1/2 lb. Andouille sausage or other spicy smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 Tbs. Filé powder
  • 6 cups cooked white rice
  • Chopped scallions for garnish
  • Tabasco or other Louisiana-style hot sauce

Preparation:

In a heavy-based soup pot, heat 3 Tbs. of the oil over high heat until almost smoking. While the oil is heating, season the chicken generously with salt and pepper, dust it with ¼ cup of the flour, and shake off the excess. Sear the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown, turning once to brown both sides, 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Let the oil reheat for a minute and then reduce the heat to medium high and add the celery, onions, and peppers and cook until soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Remove the vegetables and any liquid from the pan and set aside. Add ¾ cup oil to the pot and let it heat up for a minute over medium heat. Slowly add the remaining flour to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the color of chocolate, 10 to 20 minutes. Stir carefully, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. Pay attention not to burn the roux; if you do burn it, you’ll have to start over. Click here for the rest of the cooking instructions.

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