About this recipe:This is a super-hearty stew, which originates from Louisiana. Chicken is simmered with beef sausages, okra, peppers and tomatoes in a dark roux thickened sauce. The perfect dish to keep you warm during the winter.
1 (1.35kg) whole chicken
60g plain flour
125ml vegetable oil
285g chopped onions
285g sliced green peppers
5 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or to taste
2 whole bay leaves
2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
450g smoked beef sausages, cooked and sliced
285g sliced okra
salt and black pepper to taste
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Fill a large pot partially with lightly salted water and place the chicken in the pot. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the chicken until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the stock and crack open the carcass to allow the chicken to cool. Reserve the chicken stock. After the chicken has cooled enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and set aside.
While the chicken is simmering, make a roux by whisking together the flour and vegetable oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and stir the mixture, watching constantly to avoid burning, until the roux is a rich chocolate brown colour, 20 to 30 minutes.
As soon as the roux has reached the desired colour, stir in the onions, peppers, celery, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Pour in the reserved chicken stock, diced tomatoes and beef sausage and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, about 1 hour.
Mix in the reserved chicken meat and okra, bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender and the flavours have blended, 30 to 40 minutes.