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If you’ve never had Gumbo, head to the south for soup as Fabio takes on classic New Orleans cuisine with a one-pot, easy recipe. Serve over white rice for a heartier meal. No alligators allowed!

Culinary tips:
-Everything starts with the roux (cooked fat and flour), so it’s important to cook it low and slow for best results. It’s a great base for many Creole recipes.
-Using flavorful boneless chicken thighs keeps this recipe affordable, and makes it much easier than using chicken on the bone. Save the breasts for another day.
-Filé powder is a staple of Creole and Cajun cuisine. Made from the ground leaves of the sassafras plant, it adds great flavor and helps as a thickening agent.

Fabio’s Classic Chicken Gumbo

Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 6-8 servings

2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 lb. Andouille sausage, cut into ¼” thick slices
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6-10 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. fresh chopped oregano
1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. filé powder
¼- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes, with juice
6 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
½ lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
¼ c. chopped parsley
3 green onions, chopped

Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Lightly dust chicken pieces in flour and brown in the oil.
Remove chicken, and brown the Andouille sausage.
Remove sausage, and add 1/2 cup of oil to pot.
Slowly whisk in flour until a thick paste is achieved, and lower the burner to the lowest possible heat.
Slowly cook the roux over low heat for at least three hours, stirring as it cooks and changes colors.
Once the roux has reached the dark chocolate stage, add onion, bell pepper and celery, and cook for 5 minutes, until wilted.
Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, filé powder, cayenne, and bay leaves.
Stir thoroughly.
Add chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Slowly add the chicken stock, and simmer over medium heat, with the lid slightly askew.
Add the cooked chicken and sausage and stir.
Add the shrimp and cook 3-5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and fully cooked.
Serve over white rice, if desired, and garnish with parsley and green onions.