Today’s blog has nothing to do with bees or homesteading. Instead, I took the weekend off and just made Gumbo. And by “just” I mean I made the best freaking gumbo ever!
By the way, I forgot to take a picture of the finished gumbo, so the picture is actually stock photo but looks just like my gumbo did.
You see, I spent over a decade working off the coast of Louisiana and ate some for the finest gumbos ever created. However, coonasses are stingy with their recipes and even when they do give it up, they usually leave out a few key ingredients so that your gumbo tastes like dishwater. Not to mention all the lazy ass recipes that have Tony Chachere’s seasoning as the main ingredient – why don’t they just buy a Zatarain’s gumbo mix and call it a day?
So it has taken me a long time to find the perfect recipe (which is actually the combination of several recipes).
What sets my recipe apart? Baked flour for the roux without oil and then baking the okra in the same pan for a slime free gumbo. This is an awesome recipe but if you’re looking for a quick recipe then prepare yourself for disappointment.
Just like paella, the type of meat you put into the gumbo (aside from Andouille sausage which is a must) makes no difference since the amazing flavor is set by the seasoning. So the following recipe is for Seafood Gumbo but you can also leave the seafood out and just make this into a Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. This recipe serves about 6 people.
Seafood Gumbo Ingredients:
- 4 links of Andouille Sausage (cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 pound of Chicken (cubed)
- 1 pound of Shrimp (with shells)
- 1/2 pound Crawfish Tails meat (optional)
- 2 Blue Crabs cleaned and halved (optional)
- 2 cups of Okra (cut into half inch pieces)
- 16 oz Chicken Stock
- 1 cup of All Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
- 1 bundle of Green Onions (save a few for the presentation)
- 1 Onion (diced)
- 2 stalks of Celery (cut in half)
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 tbsp of Garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp of Salt (or not)
- 1/2 tsp Celery Flakes
- 1 tsp fillet
- *4 tsp dried thyme
- *2 tsp paprika
- *1 tsp garlic powder
- *1/2 tsp black pepper
- *1/2 tsp onion powder
- *1/2 tsp dried leaf oregano
- *1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- *1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
* indicates that these are the basic ingredients in Emerald’s Season – I put mine in individually but if you don’t have any self-respect you can use the store-bought stuff and just know in your heat that you have failed your family.
Spread the all purpose flour out in a cast-iron skillet and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (or until it is as dark as you like it). The picture above shows my roux at 50 minutes and made for a dark brown gumbo.
While the flour is in the oven put the olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot over medium heat and saute the onions and bell peppers. Then add chicken to the mix and brown slightly. Remove chicken, onions, & bell peppers and place them in a bowl for later.
Add chicken stock and fill the pot to the halfway mark with water. Add in celery stalks, blue craps (if you have them), and shrimp shells (not the shrimp – we’ll add them at the end) and boil uncovered for 20 minutes.
Strain the shells out of the broth and return liquid to the stock pot. Put the chicken, onion, bell pepper mix back in the pot and add in all the other seasonings on the list. Let the mixture simmer until the roux is done.
When the roux is ready, remove it from the oven. Using a wooden spoon, crush any lumps back into powder. Now scrape the roux into a heat resistant bowl (I used a paper bowl). Dip some of the broth from the pot into the bowl and mix it into a nice thick paste (use a fork to mix and crush the lumps). Continue to add broth until the paste is thin enough to incorporate into the stock pot and then stir it in together. Let the gumbo simmer.
Now place the okra into the cast iron skillet and roll them around so that the left over roux lightly coats them. Place the skillet back in the oven for 30 minutes.
When the okra is done, place the Andouille Sausage into the gumbo and simmer for 5 minutes.
Lastly add okra, shrimp, crawfish, and crabs into the pot and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the shrimp have turned pink.
Remove Gumbo from heat and let cool completely for at least 2 hours. Reheat and serve over rice.