When red-hot New Orleans chef John Besh started work on his 384-page magnum opus, “My New Orleans” (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $45), he wasn’t interested in just peddling another Crescent City cookbook.
Raised in nearby Slidell, trained in his family kitchens and some of the town’s finest dives, and jolted by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Besh, 41, had nothing less in mind than the celebration - and preservation - of the city’s unique culture.
DREW’S CHICKEN AND SMOKED SAUSAGE GUMBO
Make a roux by heating the chicken fat or oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
Season the chicken with Creole spices. Add chicken to the pot, raise heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the smoked sausage and stir for a minute before adding celery, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
Add the andouille, okra and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper, several dashes of file powder and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo. Remove bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice or potato salad. Pass more file at the table.
(Adapted From “My New Orleans”)
Read Full Article Here