Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Gumbo

Gumbo is a delicious, easy and healthy way to feed your family for a week (at least a few times in a week)! My Southern bred family has always made this warm and hearty stew and I just recently revitalized it for my husband and I. A big pot keeps for at least a week and reheats really well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 whole Carrots
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • 1White or yellow onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Bell Pepper (I like red or orange)
  • 2 bags of Okra (Frozen bags can be found in the frozen veggies section. Whole is preferred but cut works)
  • Olive oil 
  • 3 Chicken or Pheasant breasts**
  • 2 or 3 links of Andouille Sausage
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (optional)
  • 2 boxes of Chicken stock**
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • 3 tbsp. Flour
  • Gumbo Filé ( a spice you can find in most supermarkets)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano

Directions:
  • Cook your andouille sausage in a big stock pot. After they're cooked, remove and set aside. Leave the grease in the stock pot.
  • Dice your onion, carrots and celery. Put them in the sausage stock pot with a drizzle of oil and cook on low heat until the onions are translucent. Crush then dice your garlic cloves and dice up your bell pepper, add to the other veggies and cook for a few minutes. 


  • If you need to cook your poultry add it to the veggies (if I'm in a hurry I add whole frozen breasts). Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the meat. Cover your pot and allow the poultry to cook. Once it's cooked remove the breasts and let cool.

The frozen chicken breasts cook right in the same pot.

  • Slice the poultry and sausage. Remove shrimp tails and set shrimp and tails aside***. 
  • Slice okra in 1/2 - 1/4 inch chunks. Set aside.
  • Add the rest of your stock chopped poultry and sausage. Add spices to your taste. If your unfamiliar with filé I usually start with about 1 tbsp and add as necessary.
  • Let all this simmer for at least half an hour. 
That little cheesecloth bag is all my shrimp tails simmering in the gumbo.
  • Make your roux. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and allow it to brown a bit. Add the flour and whisk a bit so there aren't any clumps. Whisk every once in awhile while it cooks until the flour is golden brown. Once it's golden, add cup or so of the broth from your stock pot and whisk it into the roux. Once that's well mixed you can add the whole mixture back into the gumbo. Simmer for another half hour at least.
  • 20 or so minutes before you're going to serve the gumbo add the okra.  
  • Serve with fresh french bread or baguette or serve over rice. Allow guests to add their own shrimp. I put an array of hot sauces to the side for people to add as well.


** If you want to save some money and go the extra mile you can buy a whole chicken (they are so inexpensive- usually about 99 cents a pound!!) and cook that. After it's cooked pull all the meat off for your gumbo and simmer the carcass with a whole onion, garlic clove, salt and pepper for at least an hour. Strain out all the stuff and you will be left with the most delicious chicken stock for your stew.
*** The shrimp should remain separate until the gumbo is served. Overcooked shrimp aren't very good so I leave them in a bowl for each person to add their own. If you want a really rich gumbo put the tails in a cheesecloth bag and put that in your pot to simmer with the soup. Remove it when the gumbo is done.

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