For the broth, backwoods cooks save up chicken gizzards and necks until they have 2 pounds of each, then simmer them in 3 or 4 quarts of water. You can find filé powder online at The Spice House, if your local grocery store doesn't carry it.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6–8
- 4 tablespoons lard or peanut oil
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons filé powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 ½ cups cooked long-grain rice
Add the lard or oil and flour to a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly so the roux doesn't burn, for 15 minutes, or until the roux is the color of peanut butter.
Stir in the celery, onions, green pepper, garlic, and tomatoes; cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining ingredients except the sausage, chicken, salt, pepper, and rice and simmer covered over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.
Stir in the sausage and chicken; simmer uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot over about ¼ cup of rice per serving.
Cooked Short- or Medium-Grain Rice
For 4 ½ cups of cooked rice, rinse and drain 1 ½ cups of rice and add to a large saucepan along with 2 ½ cups of water and salt to taste. Cover and let set for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook covered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave covered for 10 minutes or until ready to serve, for up to 1 hour.