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DH is a coonass do I had to learn to cook some serious Cajun food. My entire family says my gumbo is the best they've ever tasted. Now I want to make gumbo. It's always what DH requests for his birthday dinner. I also just eyeball everything. I'm pretty awesome at Cajun, Mexican, & comfort cooking. That's what being Mexican with a mom from Mississippi & a hubby who's Cajun will do to a girl, lol. As for local places with good gumbo, I like Jason's deli better than Zachary's. I also loooove Papadeaux lobster bisque & crawfish etouffee.

Jul 28, 2012 - 11:57 pm
Heathur
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I sent my gumbo summary to @Bearae, but decided to show it here as well.  As I told Bearae, every family (and usually ever person in every family) has their own recipe and ways to make gumbo.  I never measure anything so I don't have any quantities.   Sometimes, I skip my own broth and used packaged.  Sometimes I like to brown the chicken pieces, sausages,etc.

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Gumbo

Decide what type(s) of meat you want.  Some common ones are:

  • chicken (or small turkey)
  • smoked sausage (pork, beef, or a combo)
  • andouille sausage
  • shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • oysters
  • crabs
  • bay scallops (they are not typical, but I like them)
  • etc.

 Roux

Roux not only adds flavor but is a thickening agent.

One part plain flour 

One part oil

 Put oil in pot and start heating.  Add flour, stirring constantly until roux is brown (this can take a while).  If you get specs of black, it's burned.  Dump it, clean the pot and start over.

Options:  We are trying to reduce the fat in our cooking and have found an oil-less roux in the store.  It's flour that has been heated slowly until dark brown.  With it, you wait until you've added broth to the gumbo pot and then sprinkle it in and whisk like crazy.  I know, it's heresy, but we do what we have to do!

 

Chicken Broth

This serves two purposes:  pre-cooks the chicken and gives you a good broth for the gumbo.

  • 1 large chicken or 2 smaller ones
  • 3 large white/yellow onions, peeled but left whole
  • 1 head of whole garlic, sliced horizontally
  • a couple celery stalks in large pieces
  • a couple of carrots in large pieces

 

After the chicken is cooked, remove it, let it cool, then shred the meat.  Discard the skin.

Remove and save the vegetables from the broth.

Skim any fat/foam from the top of the broth.

 

Assembling the Gumbo

Besides the things described above, you'll need (and this varies form person-to-person and on how much gumbo you're making):

 

  • white or yellow onions, chopped
  • celery, chopped
  • bell pepper, chopped
  • green onions, chopped
  • parsley, minced (fresh preferred but dry OK)
  • garlic, fresh minced
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • liquid smoke
  • Bay leaves (leave them whole so people can  find and pick them out)
  • Kitchen Bouquet
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • okra, cut (frozen) - optional

 

If you made your own roux, once it is the proper color, start adding the vegetables.  Cook over a low-medium heat while stirring continuously until the onions are translucent.

If you use the dry roux, add just a little oil to the pot.  Heat it up and add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent. 

Add the smoked sausage and andouille sausage and let cook for a while.

Add the chicken broth.  Add in small batches.  You can always add more later.  If you don't have enough of your broth, supplement with packaged broth (chicken or beef).

If you are using the dry roux, add it at this point.  Sprinkle it in and stir/whisk to prevent lumps.

Add the shredded chicken.

Add Bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, Kitchen Bouquet, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and let everything simmer.  I think the dehydrated onion and garlic powder add a stronger taste.

This would also be the time to add the Okra if you use it.  Let it simmer for at least an hour.  The Okra will float at first, but it will sink and break-down as it cooks.

If you saved the vegetables from the chicken broth, I like to squeeze the garlic from its skin.  Then put the vegetables in a food processor and pulse it until there are no large lumps.  Add this to the gumbo.

Periodically skim off any fat and foam from the top of the gumbo.          

Add the seafood when there is about 15 minutes of cooking remaining.  You don't want to overcook seafood.

Serve in bowls with a scoop of rice.

If anyone wants to use gumbo file, do NOT add it to the pot.  It should be sprinkled into individual bowls and then stirred in.  It is a strong flavoring and thickening agent.

A typical side-dish for gumbo is potato salad!


Jul 29, 2012 - 02:37 pm
Retired_Engineer
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Thank you! Didn't see this until after I PM'd you.

Jul 29, 2012 - 03:49 pm
bearae
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It's funny I was just talking to my DH at the Le Crueset outlet store on Saturday about what good gumbo stock pots they had how I need to make some this summer to freeze for after the baby comes.

I have two Le Crueset Dutch ovens. I use my large one when I make chicken stew but I use a really large stock pot when I make gumbo. Cause I usually make a huge batch.

I use to make my own roux but after tweaking with the jar roux I prefer it. It's a time savor. The Cajun smoked sausage and Tasso I put in the gumbo flavors it so much.

I have never made gumbo with dry roux, but I make chicken stew with it. Cause it is a lighter roux. And it comes out great. It's one of the first Cajun dishes I won over my husband with. He is from Opelousas Louisisna and knows Cajun food. So there was no fooling him.  lus the recipe is on the jar.  Of course I put my own tweaks on it.

Jul 30, 2012 - 06:20 am
N+T
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I know nothing about gumbo but Kim is from NO. and tries it everywhere we travel.

Jul 30, 2012 - 09:24 am
kingwooddiscgolf
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I challenge anyone to my Gumbo.

Men have left their families for my gumbo.

I are COONASS.


@Ray:

you aint lyin...matter of fact, you were kind enough to open up your house a few years back and taught me.


Jul 30, 2012 - 11:41 am
PedroDePacas
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I add file to my bowl when the wife cooks it. She makes a good Gumbo!

Jul 30, 2012 - 12:04 pm
hardzep
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