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Kielbasa and Chicken Gumbo

Kielbasa and Chicken GumboDon't let the number of ingredients for this thick stew-like dish keep you from trying this dish. Taking the time for this Creole specialty is definitely worth the wait. Adjust the seasonings to suit your family's taste and serve over a bed of hot cooked rice and Hot Skillet Cornbread.

Recipe Ingredients:

6 slices smoked bacon
1 pound Kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) can tomato juice
1 cup water
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, cut up
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups sliced okra or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut okra, thawed
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon filé powder* (optional)
Hot cooked rice for accompaniment (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp; remove. Drain and crumble on paper toweling; set aside. Cook kielbasa and chicken in hot bacon drippings until chicken is browned. Remove kielbasa and chicken, reserving 3 tablespoons drippings in Dutch oven.
  2. Add flour to drippings; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 12-15 minutes or until a reddish-brown roux forms.
  3. Gradually stir in tomato juice and water. Add tomatoes and bouillon, stirring well. Add kielbasa, chicken, tomato sauce, okra, onion, green pepper, bay leaves, salt, red pepper and allspice; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add shrimp and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in filé powder and bacon; mix well. Serve over hot cooked rice, if desired.

Makes 10 servings.

*Filé powder is an integral part of Creole cooking. The seasonings is made in part from the dried ground leaves of the sassafras tree and has a woodsy flavor similar to root beer. It is usually available in the spice or gourmet section of larger supermarkets.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Pork Board.