Today I will attempt to make a gumbo, from scratch, for the first time in a very very very long time. As with most things in life, there is a story there. I gave up on making gumbo because I always misfigured my roux, and the resulting gumbo turned out horribly; the roux is key to a good gumbo, after all. Too light and it is flavorless, too dark and it tastes burned; I always gravitated to the latter.
I do feel it important to note that I have recently made a good gumbo, making use of a soup that I bought frozen at my local grocery store and doctoring it up. That was just me heating up someone else’s creation and adding in sausage and chicken. No, this time it will be all mine, and I am looking forward to the process of taking these raw ingredients and turning them into something beautiful. I am very excited at the prospect, and so is the husband; partly because he loves my food, but more-so because he likes to watch me attempt new things.
I am cheating a little by using Savoie’s dark roux, I figure i need all the help I can get. Maybe one day I will work up the courage to try making my own again. Anyway, here’s the recipe:
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4 heaping tablespoons Savoie’s dark roux
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP bacon drippings
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 pound shredded chicken
3 quarts poultry bone broth, chicken stock will work in a pinch.
salt to taste
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere’s(R)), or to taste
4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Brown chicken in 1Tbsp bacon drippings a large heavy saucepan, set aside. Slice sausage, brown in drippings from chicken, set aside. Drain drippings from pot, leaving the bits
*Meanwhile, Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped.
Turn fire to med-low add Savoie’s roux, stir the vegetables into the roux, and mix in the sausage. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Bring the bone broth or chicken stock to a boil in a large soup pot, whisk the roux mixture into the boiling stock. Reduce heat to a simmer, add salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken. Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour.
Melt 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet, and cook the okra with vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Add green onion and simmer until flavors have blended, about 45 more minutes. Remove bay leaves.
Serve in large soup bowls over hot white rice garnished with finely chopped parsley.