This venerable southern selection is provided verbatim from Emeril Lagasse. It is unbelievably good. Words do not do it justice, so just make it. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ slices
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
6 cups boiling water
1 pound chicken meat, cut into chunks
1 tsp. Emeril’s rustic rub
2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
1 tbs. file powder*
Serve with steamed rice
Combine oil and flour in a 5-quart cast-iron pot, stirring constantly on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes to make a mahogany roux. DO NOT SCORCH THE FLOUR OR IT WILL TASTE BITTER. The color will not kick over until the last 15 minutes – if the oil smokes, you have it too hot. When cooking it should gently ripple, and not be a rolling boil.
When the color of the roux is set to your liking, add onions, celery, bell pepper – stirring for five minutes. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne and bay leaves. Stir for about four minutes.
Add the boiling water and stir well to mix the roux completely. Reduce heat and simmer on low for one hour.
Season the raw chicken with rustic rub, and add to the pot. Simmer for two additional hours and skim fat from top.
Remove from heat. Stir in fresh parsley, scallion and file powder. DO NOT BOIL AT THIS POINT OR THE FILE POWDER WILL GET STRINGY. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
Serve with steamed rice and Tabasco hot sauce on the side.
*File powder is made from ground sassafrass leaves. It is hard to find in some markets, but you can order it online. For the full Louisiana experience, it should not be omitted.
It creates a wonderful, velvety texture when added to the sauce, by helping to bind the remaining fat.
Even better the second day. If you still have leftovers, it freezes wonderfully.