Miss Priss trying to snag an early bite of gumbo.
I have been craving gumbo since watching Matthew McConaughey's lovely Oscar acceptance speech the other
A couple months ago, I was at my local butcher and spotted some homed smoked turkey andouille sausages. I stuck them in the freezer with visions of a future gumbo floating in my head. When the craving struck, I found this recipe and made a few very slight changes.
- 1/2 pound bacon, diced
- 2-3 pounds chicken thighs
- 1-2 pounds andouille sausage
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup flour
- 2 green peppers, diced
- 5 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 quart water
- 1/2 to 1 pound okra, sliced into discs
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 5-6 tablespoons cajun spice mix
1 Cook the diced bacon until crispy in a large dutch oven set over medium heat. Remove the bacon and set aside; you'll add it back in when you serve your gumbo.
2 Once the bacon is cooked, set the chicken thighs in the bacon fat to crisp. Sprinkle with salt. Cook the chicken, without moving, for at least 4-5 minutes before trying to turn the chicken over. Brown the other side of the chicken thighs.
3 Remove the browned chicken thighs and set aside. Brown the sausages in the fat, remove and set aside.
4 If you want, measure how much fat is in the pot; it should be about 1/2 cup, add another add 1/2 cup vegetable oil to the pot. Let this heat up a minute or two, then stir in 1 cup flour. Stir this almost constantly for the first few minutes, then every couple minutes or so thereafter. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook this roux until it turns dark. How dark? You can go all the way to chocolate brown, but be careful! If you burn your roux you will need to start over and make it again. This whole process can take 30 minutes. (*note- Roux(s) always take me a ton of time. I stirred this sucker for 45 minutes and i wasn't as dark as I wanted- latte versus chocolate. Naptime was over too soon).
5 While you are stirring and cooking the roux, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil in a separate pot.
6 Add to the roux the onion, green pepper and celery and mix well. Let this cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir again and cook for another 2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste.
7 Using a large ladle, add the hot chicken stock to the gumbo. It will sizzle and seize up as the roux absorbs the liquid. Keep adding more stock, stirring all the time and scraping the bottom of the pot, to incorporate all the stock and all the roux. You might not need all 2 quarts, but add enough to make the gumbo slightly more watery than you want it to be at the end — remember you are going to cook this down for several hours. Stir in half the Cajun spice mix, taste the gumbo, and add more if you want.
8 Lower the heat to medium-low and add back the chicken thighs. Simmer this gently, stirring from time to time about 90 minutes. Remove the chicken and let it cool a bit.
9 While the chicken is cooling, cut the andouille sausage into thick discs and drop them in the gumbo. Add the okra. Shred the chicken. Add it back to the gumbo. At this point you can cook the gumbo for another hour, or up to several more hours, depending on how cooked down you want the final stew to be.
10 When you are ready to eat, add the parsley and bacon and stir well. Serve over rice, or with good French bread.
Feel free to enjoy with a Miller Light and lemon meringue pie, like Mr. McConaughey's dear departed daddy.
Unrelated question- I thoroughly enjoyed his acceptance speech, but apparently many people are finding it bizarre and controversial. Explanations, please? I am too sleep deprived for further investigation.