Are YOU ready to Gumbo? I am.
Sam's Toulousian French Creole Gumbo
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Serves 8 to 10
Great for: a dinner party or a family meal with leftovers
Wine suggestion: a Cahors or Fronton
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Andouille (or other pork sausage), sliced in rounds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
5-6 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, de-germed, and finely minced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced into large chunks
1 green pepper, seeded and diced into large chunks
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced into large chunks
3-4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, premade or DIY*
1/2 cup flat parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
4 cups beef stock, homemade or from bouillon cubes
1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 to 3 bay leaves
3 1/2 cups okra (fresh is preferred, but frozen is fine) sliced in 1/2-inch-thich rounds
32 to 40 pieces uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons paprika
3 healthy pinches herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Poach the chicken for 8–10 minutes in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. Then, remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven (or heavy pot with lid) over medium heat. Add the sausage, cook until browned on all sides, and remove, also setting it to the side. To make the roux, add the vegetable oil to the same pot, using the grease of the sausage to flavor. Sprinkle flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture turns a golden brown, around 15 minutes.
Add 2 more tablespoons butter, the onion, garlic, celery, and green, red, and yellow peppers to the pot. Stir, and reduce the heat to low. Season with the Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of the parsley. Cook for another 10 minutes, until fragrant. While this cooks, shred your poached chicken with your fingers.
Add beef stock into the pot, along with canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and cooked chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 35–45 minutes. Add in 2 cups of the okra. Cover again, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Fifteen minutes before serving, add the shrimp and remaining okra. Cover and cook for another fifteen minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve over rice (along with a few bottles of hot sauce), and garnish with parsley.
* DIY Cajun Seasoning. Mix equal parts (one tablespoon) of garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, oregano, thyme, and cocoa powder** into a bowl. Add 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes. Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper, depending on the heat you like. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Store in a plastic container.
** If you are a using a pre-mixed Cajun seasoning, I highly suggest adding in one tablespoon of cocoa powder to your gumbo. It’s the bomb! Cocoa powder is seriously looked over as a spice!
Bon app! And bisous!