Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Louisiana Gentlemen Recipes – Roan

Recipes were included as lagniappe in the five books (plus a novella) of the Louisiana Gentlemen series, published 1998 – 2002. Since that time, I’ve had hundreds of letters and emails about KANE, LUKE, ROAN, CLAY, WADE and ADAM -- the majority from people who had lost track of the books but wanted the recipes again! Posting them here on the blog will make them available once more for everyone. Slight adjustments have been made to the originals for clarity and consistency.

6 chicken breast halves
2 bouillon cubes, chicken flavored
1 pound smoked sausage
2/3 cup plain flour
3/4 cup cooking oil seasoned with 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch shallots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 -3 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Salt to taste
Red pepper to taste
Gumbo filé to taste
Cover chicken with water and simmer with 1/2 onion, chopped, 1 garlic clove, and bouillon cubes until tender. Reserve the liquid. Debone and cut meat into bite size pieces. Set aside. Slice sausage into bite size pieces and set aside.

In a large, heavy pot, make a roux by browning flour in oil over medium heat, stirring constantly with flat-edged spatula. When the roux has browned to the shade of well-tanned English leather, immediately add the remaining onion and garlic and other vegetables. Sauté over medium heat, stirring constantly, until onions and shallots are wilted. (The mixture will be extremely thick; take care not to burn it.) Add hot, reserved chicken stock and stir well, breaking up any lumps with the back of the spatula. Adjust liquid by adding water until you have 3-4 quarts of gumbo, total, of a soup-like consistency. Add chicken meat and sausage. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add spices, filé and bay leaves. Simmer 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Remove bay leaves. Serve over rice. Add extra filé as desired. Serves 8-10. Freezes well.

Canned or boxed chicken broth may be used in place of chicken bouillon cubes. Adjust liquid.
Commercial roux mixes may be used according to their directions.
Canned or precooked roast chicken, deboned, may be used to speed preparation.
Gumbo filé is powdered sassafras leaves. It adds the traditional taste to the dish, but the original purpose was as a thickening agent.
No okra or tomatoes are included in this recipe because Chicken and Sausage Gumbo was considered a winter gumbo made when these vegetables were not available from the garden.


Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.

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