Serves: Makes 8 servings
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 11⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 6 andouille sausages (about 11⁄4 pounds total), kielbasa, or other smoked pork sausage
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 3⁄4 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 6 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 can (141⁄2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
- 8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen whole okra, stems trimmed, halved crosswise
- 12 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice
- For the spice rub, stir together the cayenne, paprika, coriander, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, bay leaves, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or broad dish and season with the salt. Add half of the spice mixture and stir well to evenly coat. Let sit for 20 minutes (refrigerated, if your kitchen is warm).
- While the chicken is sitting, place the sausages in a medium skillet with the water, cover, and set over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, steam the sausages for 5 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking, turning the sausages occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool. Cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces and set aside.
- Stir together the onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in a medium bowl. Add the remaining spice rub and toss to evenly mix. Set aside.
- Heat 1⁄2 cup of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. In 3 or 4 batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Set aside; reserve the skillet. Place the chicken stock in a medium saucepan and warm gently over medium-low heat.
- Measure the oil from the skillet and add enough additional vegetable oil to measure 3⁄4 cup. Transfer to a Dutch oven or other large pan and stir in the flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the flour takes on a reddish brown color and nutty aroma. Be patient; this can take 20 minutes or so. Stir often at the beginning, then be sure to stir constantly once the roux begins taking on color to ensure even cooking and no burnt spots.
- Carefully but quickly add the vegetable mixture to the pot, taking care to avoid splattering the hot roux. (The vegetables decrease the temperature of the roux, to help avoid overcooking.) Cook, stirring constantly to evenly coat the vegetables in the roux, for 5 minutes. Slowly add the warm chicken stock, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium. When the liquid comes to a low boil, add the sausages and stewed tomatoes (with their liquid), reduce the heat, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.