Gumbo is one of America’s favourite stews, there are cajun & creole versions but the one thing they both have in common is they are made with lots of patience and love.
Gumbo’s unique flavouring hinges on its roux and is traditionally made with flour and fat. You need the roux to have a darkish golden appearance that will give the dish its unique flavouring and serve as a thickener.
The addition of chopped okra and filé powder will ensure this. Gumbo can also be surf & turf as well but like all great gumbo’s its well worth the time spent in making this wonderful tasty dish.
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 120 minutes
- 1/4 cup (60ml) plain flour
- 1/4 cup (60ml) butter/canola oil (butter can burn easy so adding oil will prevent this)
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) canola oil or butter
- 1 cup (240ml) onion, chopped
- 1 cup (240ml) red bel pepper, chopped
- 1 cup (240ml) celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 quality smoked paprika sausages, sliced
- 375g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp of Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups (450g) okra, sliced into rings
- salt & pepper to season
- 2 red chillis, sliced (optional for those of us who like the heat)
- In a pan fry the smoked sausages until browned approx. 6-8 minutes, when cooled slice into rings and set aside. It doesn’t matter if the meat falls out it will all blend in.
- Heat a saucepan over a medium to high heat and add the 2 tbsp’s of oil/butter and add the bel pepper, celery & onion this is referred to as the cajun holy trinity. Add the garlic and cook until sweated down and the onions become translucent then take off the heat.
- Now we make the roux! take a heavy bottomed pan and melt the butter and add the canola oil to prevent it from burning. When this is done add the flour bit at a time and work in well to avoid the roux from becoming lumpy until it is all blended in. Continue to cook the roux stirring all the time until it takes on a darker nutty appearance. The purpose of this is to impart flavour into the dish whilst also being a thickening agent. When cooked add this to the sweated trinity of vegetables and stir in well.
- With the roux now blended into the trinity, tip in the tinned tomatoes and add 3 cups of the chicken stock and stir well.
- Now we add the okra, bay leaves and cajun seasoning and stir in well and simmer for 30 minutes then add the chicken pieces. Cook on for a further 30 minutes checking and stirring every five minutes or so. With this done we can now add our cooked sausage and stir in well.
- Simmer on for another 10 minutes, check that the chicken is cooked through and check the seasoning adding more if required. Add more chicken stock if you prefer your gumbo more ‘soupy’
- Serve hot on a bed of plain boiled long grain rice and sprinkle with tabasco sauce and garnish with red chillies if you prefer it hotter.