Andouille (ahn-doo-ee) - A Cajun sausage made with pork and spices and smoked. It is used in flavoring gumbos, stews, jambalayas and some rice dishes. 

File' (fee-lay) - File' is made from ground sassafras leaves and was an ingredient that the Native American Indians used. It can be used to thicken and spice up gumbo. 
(Caution: File' powder should never be used with okra in a gumbo. You will end up with a stringy mess. Use one or the other to thicken a gumbo.) 


1 cup of vegetable oil 
1 cup of flour 
2 cups of chopped onion 
1 cup of chopped bell pepper 
1/2 cup of chopped celery 
10 cups of water 
2 bay leaves 
1/2 teaspoon of ground thyme 
1 hen (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into serving pieces 
2 teaspoons of salt 
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 
1 pound of Andouille, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices 
2 tablespoons of chopped green onion 
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley 
File' powder 


1. In a large heavy Dutch oven, combine the oil and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for
about 25 to 30 minutes, to make a dark brown roux. 

2. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring often, for six to eight minutes, or until
vegetables are soft. 

3. Add the water and blend into the roux mixture. 

4. Add the bay leaves and thyme. 

5. Season the chicken with salt and cayenne pepper. 

6. Add the chicken to the roux-water mixture and simmer for 1 hour. 

7. Add the Andouille and cook for 1 hour more, or until chicken is tender. 

8. Skim off any oil that has risen to the surface. Remove the bay leaves. 

9. Check the seasonings. Add more salt and cayenne pepper if necessary. 

10. Add the green onion and parsley. 

11. Serve immediately in soup bowls over steamed rice. 

12. File' powder can be passed around at the table so that guests can add it to the gumbo according to individual tastes. 

Makes 8 servings