The key to an outstanding Cajun gumbo is a deep, dark roux. To get it just right, use a flat-bottomed wooden spoon to get into all the corners of the pot, and be attentive. Cook, stirring continuously, especially during the last 15 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed if you're concerned the roux is cooking too fast. There's no rescuing a burnt roux--best to toss it and start over.
Serves 10 (serving size: 1 cup gumbo and 1/2 cup rice)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Rub chicken thighs with Cajun seasoning. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Cool chicken; shred.
3. Place oil in a Dutch oven. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 35 to 40 minutes or until very brown, stirring constantly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add sausage and next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); cook 2 minutes. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
4. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add Worcestershire sauce. Discard bay leaves. Serve over rice; sprinkle with green onions. Serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.
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