There are times when I really want to make something I’ve never made before. Something that isn’t even close to my (perceived) comfort zone. On those days, I like to invite friends over. Because who else will tell you if a new recipe is a bust or amazing, if not your friends?
Gumbo has always seemed intimidating to me. I know it’s a stew (with a roux…can you tell I’m watching cat in the hat?) but southern cooking often evades me. Maybe it’s all that buttermilk I never seem to have on hand. Or the mason Dixon line. I don’t know. So creole cooking has become my new obsession and with my sister about to go down to New Orleans I figured I would try my hand at one of the more popular dishes.
I used the traditional chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage. And okra, you gotta have okra.
This is what you’ll need: (Serves 8 adults)
3 cups rice
1 lb shrimp
3 chicken breasts
1 lb andouille sausage
7 tbsp. butter
1/2 lb fresh okra, 1/4 in. slices
1 medium onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flour
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
lg handful fresh, flat leafed parsley, chopped
4 cups beef stock
First, add your oil and the chicken. Cook until the chicken is brown on both sides (about 5 minutes a side). Remove and set aside for later. Next add your Andouille. Cook, browning each side, and remove to the cooked chicken plate. Now add 2 tbsp. of butter and flour. Whisk until a thicken paste (or roux) is formed. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.
Once roux has cooled, add all chopped vegetables (celery, garlic, onion and pepper) into the roux and turn on medium heat. Add remaining butter and stir, coating the vegetables in the roux. Cook for about 10 minutes (vegetables should smell HEAVENLY and onions should be just translucent). Add Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 the chopped parsley, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes you’ll need to watch the veggies to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the stock, whisking constantly. Next add the chicken and the Andouille (I cut the Andouille into thirds and the chicken into slices). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover for 45 minutes. Next add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Make rice 20-30 minutes before gumbo is done. When you start rice, you need to add your shrimp to the gumbo!! Serve gumbo over rice and top with parsley. I added a few hits of hot sauce before eating.
Kinda labor intensive during a couple of moments but SO worth it!