“Of all the dishes in the realm of Louisiana cooking, gumbo is the most famous and, very likely, the most popular. Gumbo crosses all class barriers, appearing on the tables of the poor as well as the wealthy. Although ingredients might vary greatly from one cook to the next, and from one part of the state to another, a steaming bowl of fragrant gumbo is one of life’s cherished pleasures, as emblematic of Louisiana as chili is of Texas.” From: A SHORT HISTORY OF GUMBO by Stanley Dry
Just like making a pot of chili, keep this in mind when making gumbo, measurements do not have to be exact, ingredients may be changed to use what is on hand.
Here is a gumbo that ranks among one of my favorites and it’s made every year by a good friend for a special party that always leaves me looking forward to that next pot of gumbo.
1 lb. Andouille sausage cut into slices
1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into small piece
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C shorting
1 C diced onions
½ C diced celery
½ C diced green bell peppers
½ C diced red bell peppers
1 C peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes, (or one can drained)
4 T Key West Spice Company ® Southernmost Blend
8 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 quarts of stock, shrimp stock would be perfect
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T Crushed red pepper flakes
1 T of your favorite hot sauce, partial to Crystal
5 Bay leaves
1 C Fresh Okra, sliced
1 lb. Shrimp, 26-30 count peeled
2 lbs. Louisiana Crawfish, live or frozen, well rinsed
2 t File´ powder
8 C Cooked rice
½ C Italian parsley, chopped
½ C Chopped Green Onions
Large pot, really large at least 8 -10 quarts
Big wooden spoon
A couple of small bowls
In separate bowls season chicken thighs and shrimp each with ½ T of the Southernmost Blend and set aside.
Place large pot on medium high heat and add Andouille sausage, stir while cooking and cook until beginning to brown, remove from pot and set aside in a small bowl.
Add seasoned chicken thighs to the pot, stir to cook evenly then remove and set aside in a small bowl.
Add shorting and flour to pot, stir to dissolve flour into the shorting keep an eye on the heat, not to let it boil or brown too quickly. Now you are making a roux, should reach a very dark tan almost brown.
Then add onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, 1 T Southernmost Blend, let veggies soften in the roux, add the garlic and sauté´, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Stir in the stock, Worcestershire, hot sauce, bay leaves, increase heat and bring to a boil while occasionally stirring the bottom.
After about 8 minutes, reduce heat to medium.
Add the okra, chicken, Andouille, 1 T Southernmost Blend, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes and skim off any impurities from the top.
Turn the heat back up to high, add the seasoned shrimp and crawfish. Cook for about 10 minutes and slowly sprinkle in the file, stirring to incorporate it thoroughly, simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
To serve ladle gumbo into bowls with cooked rice top with green onions and parsley, with hot sauce on hand for those who want it a little bit hotter.
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