New Orleans Gumbo
Gumbo by Davyne Dial
Inspired by the best gumbo I've ever had at Mr. B's Bistro on Royal St. in the Vieux Carre.
This recipe makes a lot of gumbo, around 3 quarts, so you'll have enough for a big party or you can freeze some for later.
1 cup unsalted butter, bacon grease or other mild oil
1 cup plain flour
Or more oil and flour if you want to make extra to freeze, the ratio is always 1 to 1.
Follow roux instructions below....be sure to save some of the roux at the peanut butter colored stage to thicken up the gumbo.
2 red bell peppers, in medium dice
2 medium onions, in medium dice
3 or 4 celery stalks, in medium dice
(reserve a 1/3 rd of the trinity to add toward the end of the cooking process)
2 quarts chicken stock or seafood stock if making a seafood
based gumbo (See stock recipe below)
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 to 3 cloves crushed garlic, or more if you like it.
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 to 2 TBS creole seasoning
1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices and sauteed in a skillet
1 to 2 pounds chicken or turkey, roasted and boned.
1 1/2 cups sliced young okra that has been sauteed to remove the slimy texture.
Add towards the end of the cooking the remaining shopped trinity
hot sauce to taste
boiled rice as accompaniment
Making a roux.
Making a roux is tricky business. Some pointers to keep in mind: cook your roux over moderately low heat because too high heat will cause the roux to speckle and if that happens you'll have to throw it away and start over; add the flour gradually to the butter or oil; you must stir the roux constantly with a wooden spoon, your arm will get a workout; and never, but never leave your roux unattended. A deep iron skillet is a must have for making roux.
Melt butter or oil over moderately low heat. Gradually add a third of the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add a third more flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add remaining third of flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until it is the color of dark mahogany, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove some of the roux at the peanut butter stage to use as a thickener in the gumbo.
Add the trinity to the chocolate colored roux and stir and constantly for a few minutes to cool down the roux. Add the stock to roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Stir in the reserved peanut butter colored roux. Add all remaining ingredients and season to taste with creole seasoning and bring to a boil. Simmer gumbo, uncovered, 45 minutes, skimming off any fat and stirring occasionally. Add reserved trinity and simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt & hot sauce. Serve over rice, with crusty french bread and a salad.
Serves 6 to 8.
Both gumbo and roux freeze very well.
How to make a delicious stock.
Chicken / poultry stock.....first season and brown the chicken or turkey, or use left over roast poultry. Remove meat from the bone and place in stock pot. Add a couple of quartered onions, 2 to 3 stalks celery, including leaves....Make a spice ball using a metal or ceramic tea infuser, to the ball add a teaspoon of each thyme, parsley, oregano, crushed garlic and any other herb you favor. Add a couple of whole bay leaves and 3 to 4 crushed cloves of garlic to the pot. Cover with water and a bit of white wine if you like. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer. Let simmer for 12 to 15 hours over very low heat (around 200%), till liquid is reduced to half. Don't stir the pot as this makes a cloudy stock. Drain and use in gumbo, or cool down very quickly with ziplock bags filled with water and frozen. This will is a safety feature, and won't water down the stock. When the stock is cooled down enough, pour into pint mason jars (leave about an inch at the top) and immediately put into your freezer. For seafood stock, do a mild chicken stock and add, shrimp peels and heads in the last 30 minutes of the cooking process.
I store any bones and seafood heads and shells in the freezer and when I have enough accumulated I make stock and freeze it. Whole chicken breasts often go on sale for $2.99 a pound ....de-bone these and freeze the bones for future stock making.
There are many variations of gumbo in Louisiana....check on the web under gumbo for lots of ideas.