This dish is a labor of love. It’s a dish that took me a while to master. They say Gumbo is a thick soup/stew that’s usually served over rice, jambalaya is a rice dish that contains proteins and vegetables. I’d say Gumbo is the Cajun version of a Paella.
For my Louisiana-Style Gumbo recipe, I’m leaving out the okra. I love okra but Steve’s doesn’t. If you’re adding the okra in and it’s not in season, use the frozen variety. Add the okra in towards the end. I’ll remind you when I get to that point.
There are many components to this dish but they complement each other beautifully. Using the best ingredients you can find makes a difference in the finished dish. Let’s get started.
Prep Time: 30 to 40 minutes (includes pre-cooking sausage, chicken, cleaning the shrimp, and dicing all the vegetables)
Cook Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1(6-quart)t Dutch oven, 1 (10-inch) sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, chef’s knife, 3 medium-sized bowls, silicone whisk
1 pound of Andouille sausage (6 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 1/2-inch dice
3/4 pound of medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (1 tablespoon for sautéing the *holy trinity)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
3/4 heaping cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of celery, diced, including leafy tops
1/2 cup of green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup of sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (1 tablespoon to season the chicken, 1/2 tablespoon to season the shrimp)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes (substitute diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
2 bay leaves
5 1/2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (15-ounce) package of (cut-style) frozen okra, thawed (optional)
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
1/4 cup of green onion tops, cut on the bias, for garnish
Success Boil-in-a-Bag Basmati Rice
Note: Follow the directions on the box. (I like to salt the water and add olive oil to prevent the rice from sticking)
2 bags (6 to 8 servings) of quick-cooking Basmati rice, Success Boil-in-a-Bag, cooked
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Note: If you’re adding the okra in and it’s not in season, use the frozen variety. Add the okra in towards the end. I’ll remind you when I get to that point.
Add the andouille sausage to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Place on a tight-fitting lid and bring the sausage links up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
In the meantime dice the *holy trinity, onions, celery, and green bell peppers. Next is to mince the garlic for the dish. Transfer to a large platter and set aside.
Next, remove all the liquid from the pan, and place the pan back over the heat allowing the sausage links to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, and transfer the links to a cutting board to cool down before slicing them on the bias. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
On a meat-safe board cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces. Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning, and toss to coat. Using the same pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chicken to the hot pan, and cook, flipping the pieces of chicken occasionally, allowing them to brown on all sides. This process takes about 15 minutes. Transfer the seared chicken to a bowl. Set aside.
Next, is to peel and devein the shrimp. This takes about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of Creole seasoning. Set aside. The shrimp will be the last ingredient that gets added to this dish.
The *roux is a very important player for great gumbo. This is where the labor of love for this dish comes into play. A dark peanut butter color is what I’m looking for. This means going past the blonde stage (blonde in color) for a standard *roux.
In a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Using a silicone whisk, slowly add the flour, whisking continuously, until the butter/oil mixture absorbs the raw flour in a paste-like and smooth consistency. At this point, the *roux will start to bubble.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes the *roux will start turning light caramel in color. Switch to a rubber spatula. Scrape down all the sides and bottom of the pan. Again, continue to whisk, you’re looking for the *roux to turn a dark peanut butter color, this may take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes.
In a preheated Dutch oven over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onions, ground thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. After the onions start to soften, add the diced celery, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Stirring occasionally cook for 5 to 7 minutes. At this point add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Using a spatula, transfer the *roux to the Dutch oven, and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the andouille sausage, chicken, fire-roasted tomatoes with the juice, and 2 bay leaves, and stir to combine.
Next for the liquid. Continue over medium heat, add chicken stock, stir to combine. Bring all this up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Occasionally stirring, cook for 30 to 35 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the shrimp and thawed frozen okra. Cook for another 5 minutes.
At this point, the sauce will have thickened. Remove from the heat, cover to keep hot.
I like serving my Gumbo over Basmati Rice. Right before serving, garnish with sliced green onion tops and Italian flat-leaf parsley. There you have it, my Louisiana-Style Gumbo.
*Holy trinity: The holy trinity of Cajun cooking consists of onions, bell peppers, and celery, the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana.
*Roux: A roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.