Now the secret to some good gumbo is throwing in a little of this and just the right amount of that. If you can’t find one of these ingredients, don’t be afraid to throw in a little improvisation—freestyle off the top with it. When you think something that mixed just right, look no further than Tha Dogg. Whether I’m gangsta’d out, smooth talking the ladies, inspirizing the kids as Coach Snoop, giving out dough on my very own game show, or cavorting with Ms. Martha, I make it look so tasty don’t I? So take notes and get that pot popping with a whole lotta that good, good. Cuz if it tastes good to ya, it must be good for ya.
SERVES 6 TO 8
4 lb [1.8 kg] boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp Creole seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 cup [240 ml] vegetable oil
1 cup [140 g] all-purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
8 cups [2 L] chicken stock
1 1/2 lb [680 g] kielbasa or andouille sausage, sliced into thin rounds
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup [15 g] finely minced fresh parsley leaves
1 bunch scallions sliced, plus more for serving
1/4 cup [60 ml] Louisiana hot sauce, plus more for serving
Cooked white rice, for serving
1. Season the chicken with the Creole seasoning and 1 tsp of salt. Set aside and let cometo room temperature.
2. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the chicken to the pot. Sear for 4 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
3. Adjust the heat under the pot to medium-low. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the Dutch oven and let warm for several minutes.
4. Whisk in the flour until thoroughly combined to form a roux. Cook the roux for 25 to 30 minutes, whisking frequently, until dark brown. It is very important that you do not let the roux burn or stick to the bottom of the pot; it will ruin the gumbo’s flavor (and that would be a shame).
5. While the roux cooks, in a food processor, combine the onion, red bell peppers, celery, and garlic. Pulse until very finely minced.
6. When the roux is dark brown, add the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the mixture is very thick. Stir in the chicken stock. Raise the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
7. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp of salt, the sausage, bay leaves, and cooked chicken. Cover the pot and simmer the gumbo for 1 hour. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
8. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the shredded chicken to the pot along with the parsley, scallions, and hot sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, as needed. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
9. Serve the hot gumbo over rice, garnished with scallions, with more hot sauce on the side