Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

January 5, 2012

To invoke one of my favorite phrases from Chef Devin Knell, the chicken and sausage gumbo that I made today came out T!TS.  That’s right, Devin, I’ve got a firm grasp of this gumbo.

Did you really click on that link?  Serves you right.  At least you won’t receive any embarrassing cookies, not like last time.

20# andouille

20# chicken thighs

5-6# dark brown roux

The rest is details, but I like a fistful of toasted paprika in there; the holy trinity of course (I always use green bell peppers because reds are too sweet); I left out the tomato in this batch because we don’t keep or use tomato paste in this kitchen; I always microplane the garlic that I add with the paprika and cayenne.

No alcohol in there, it can give the impression of acidity.  The dark roux makes it a gumbo (I don’t like the mucillagenous texture that file powder and okra would impart, so I leave them out), but one thing I never hear cooks mention is how much of an impact the stock or broth you use will have on your finished product.

I used a double-strength roasted chicken stock as the base for this batch of gumbo, so it tasted like a finished soup before I even started–I even had to add two quarts of water to mellow it out a little.

Don Barkley from Napa Smith will be at solbar tonight pouring his seasonal brews, and in addition to the gumbo, we have a ____-_____-good beef stroganov made from Painted Hills Ranch beef, and a cassoulet that will make you _____ in ______, maybe several times.  C’mon over to the  solbar lounge and fill in those blanks for yourself.  (Or someone else!).




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