Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.
The only mandatory item of this challenge was to make a gumbo recipe. I used one of the recipes provided and the changed somethings to make it less time consuming 🙂
I was pretty excited when I saw this challenge because I LOVE Gumbo. Anytime back home when we would go to a Cajun Restaurant I would always get Seafood Gumbo. I had planned on making that version, but since we are going to a Seafood Festival on Wednesday and the fact that we would have to eat most of the gumbo I decided to go with the Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo. The only things that I changed in the recipe was:
1) Used canola oil instead of chicken/duck fat,
2) Used store bought chicken broth/Cajun Seasoning,
3) Used boneless skinless Chicken Thighs instead of a whole chicken
4) I used one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of a fresh tomato
5) Made regular white rice instead of using the recipe provided
Because I made these changes I did not provide the recipes for the broth, seasoning, or rice because the gumbo turned out perfect without using them. I also only made half a recipe since there will only be two of us trying to eat all of the gumbo 🙂
The gumbo turned out fantastic and both of us really enjoyed it. This might be my go to gumbo recipe next time I have a craving for some.
Minimally adapted from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) rendered chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm) (5 oz) flour
2 large onions, diced
1 chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs.), cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) Creole spice blend
2 pounds (2 kilograms) spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch (15mm) thick
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green bell peppers (capsicum), seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 quarts (3 liters) chicken stock
2 bay leaves
6 ounces (175 gm) andouille sausage, chopped
2 cups (480 ml) (320 gm) (11 oz) sliced fresh okra, ½ -inch (15mm) thick slices (or frozen, if fresh is not available)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Filé powder, to taste (I probably added about 1 tbsp)
Tabasco, to taste
4-6 cups (1 – 1½ liters) (650 gm – 950 gm) cooked White Rice
1. Season the chicken pieces with about 2 tablespoons of the Creole Spices while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Make sure all of your vegetables are cut, diced, chopped, minced and ready to go before beginning the roux. You must stand at the stove and stir the roux continuously to prevent it from burning.
3. In a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pan, heat the chicken fat, duck fat, or canola oil over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil – it will start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate, and continue whisking until the roux becomes deep brown in color, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the onions. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir the onions into the roux. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the roux becomes a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
5. Add the chicken to the pot; raise the heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
6. Add the sliced smoked sausage and stir for about a minute.
7. Add the celery, bell peppers, tomato, and garlic, and continue stirring for about 3 minutes.
8. Add the thyme, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally.
9. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, skimming off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.
10. Add the chopped andouille, okra, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco, all to taste.
11. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat from the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé powder at the table if desired.