1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 pound smoked sausage, such as Andouille or Kielbasa, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 bay leaves
6 cups water
1 pound boneless chicken meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon Rustic Rub
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon file powder
Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.
Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water. Stir until the roux mixture and water are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
Season the chicken with the rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours.
Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, green onions, and file powder.
Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls.
A roux is a cooked mixture of flour and a cooking fat, like vegetable oil, that is used to thicken sauces and gravies.
Things You'll Need
1Step OnePour about ¼ c. of the oil in a small sturdy pan and place it over medium-low heat.
2Step TwoWhen the oil is warm but not too hot, start stirring in flour with the wooden spoon until the mixture is thick - about the texture of wet concrete or plaster of Paris. Add more oil or flour until it's right.
3Step ThreeStir continually with the wooden spoon over the heat so the roux cooks. The flour will gradually begin to brown. The roux can be used when the flour is light golden in color. The darker you cook the roux, the more flavor it will add to the sauce. Don't cook it past a mahogany color, though.
4Step FourTransfer the roux to another container to cool.
5Step FiveStore roux in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze it in tablespoon-size wafers.
6Step SixTo thicken a sauce with roux, let it cool so it won't splatter and whisk it in to your boiling sauce base, like broth or pan drippings.
7Step SevenLower the heat to a simmer and continue to whisk until all the roux has been absorbed.
8Step EightSimmer for at least 20 minutes to allow it the sauce to thicken and become smooth.
Tips & Warnings
Roux is usually equal parts by weight flour and fat, but most chefs make it by simply adding flour to hot oil and looking for the proper thick texture.
Any cooking fat can be used to make a roux, including bacon fat or chicken fat.
Butter can be used as well, but only for very light-colored roux. The dairy in the butter will burn easily if it's cooked too long.
1 tbsp. of roux will thicken 1 c. to 1½ c. of liquid.
For best results, reserve some roux and some liquid when making your sauce so you can adjust the thickness later.
Roux-thickened sauces will thicken as they cool.
Be very careful when cooking roux - the oil gets very hot and will easily burn if splattered.