Cooking Secret: Making Great Gumbo Every Time
Gumbo is one of those dishes that I can eat anytime of the year – but, usually I stick to preparing it during the chilly months. I have a great secret to making great gumbo every time. Ultimately, keep it simple and be patient.
Gumbo, one of the most popular and well-known dishes of New Orleans, is a vibrant soup/stew dish often cooked in many Southern kitchens and restaurants across the globe.
The spirit and passion of Louisiana are reflected in its food; Gumbo’s origin – for the most part – remains a myth. Some believe it was created by the French or perhaps the Spanish in the early 1800s. However, others accredit the creation to the African/American community around the same time frame. Ultimately, what is clear is that many cultural influences have always occupied Louisiana.
There are multiple ways to prepare gumbo; primary ingredients typically include a variety of various types of meats, seafood, and vegetables. Chicken, sausage, ham, oysters, turkey, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, beef, veal, crabs, soft-shell crabs, shrimp, greens, and cabbage, okra are some of the standard staples of the dish.
Making gumbo can be a difficult task. However, I am a real fan of keeping recipes simple. Subsequently, my gumbo recipe generally always includes spicy sausage, chicken thighs, and a variety of seafood. Firstly, I need to admit; I am not a big fan of the sweet green peppers. Moreover, I dislike okra immensely – put simply, I can’t get past the texture. Therefore, I discovered a tasty substitution that works perfectly; poblano peppers. Although, I haven’t been as lucky for the okra. I enjoy the edgy flavor the pepper adds to the dish. However, if you are not a fan of spicy, just remove the spine and seeds during preparation.
Here’s My Recipe For
Great Gumbo Every Time
King Crab Seafood Chicken Gumbo
- 5 cups chicken or seafood stock see recipe
- 1/2 cup bacon fat
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 large white onion medium diced
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 ounce
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 large jalapeño pepper finely minced
- 1 large pablano pepper chopped
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 3 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons dried ground sage
- 1 large garlic clove finely minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound large shrimp shells removed, washed and devined
- 2 smoked andouille sausage links New Orleans Spicy Smoked Sausage Links
- 1 1/2 pounds king crab legs cooked, meat removed, and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 chicken thighs boiled, skin and bone removed, chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 3 scallions lightly chopped
- 10 cups long-grain white rice
- filé powder and hot pepper sauce for serving
Prepare the Roux
- In a large heavy pot over medium heat, add the bacon fat and cook until hot.
- Add the flour to the pan and continuously stir until the roux is a rich brown color; approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Once the roux is done, quickly add the onion, garlic and cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Add the poblano peppers, jalapeño peppers, and celery, stirring frequently until the vegetables are just tender
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, and add the bay leaves, spices and tomato paste to the mixture. Stir until throughly mixed.
- Pour in the stock, salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes. Place a lid over the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 1 hour.
- While the gumbo is cooking, prepare the white rice according to the instuctions on the package.
- Add the chicken, andouille sausage and seafood to the pot and continue cooking until shrimp is bright pink.
- Remove and discard bay leaves prior to serving.
- Serve topped with chopped scallions atop of rice or with rice on the side.
Per serving, based on 10 servings. (% daily value)
Personally, I enjoy my gumbo with rice and cornbread served alongside. Indeed, there are multiple ways to enjoy a steaming bowl of this impressive culmination of vibrant flavors. Ultimately, the secret to making a great gumbo every time is most certainly time.
Lastly, gumbo is a fantastic excuse to plan a trip to visit New Orleans, and experience the birthplace of the dish – because, why not?
Welcome! My name is Pam, and thanks for visiting my blog. Food and Wine Chronicles was created to share real-world experiences in the culture. From wine reviews and wine articles to interviews with winemakers and winery visits, reviews of the latest food hot-spots to the creation of cuisine, all are meant to help educate, inspire, motivate, and connect you to the fantastic vibrant and cultured food and wine lifestyle.Learn more