Fall season is coming. Other than Chilli, Gumbo is our to-go food for a chilly and windy weather in our household. Or for me, anytime of the year since I love how flavorful a Gumbo is!
I promise you, this recipe is worth a shot! Once you see how easy it is, you'll want to make it again.
You can put any kind of meat on your gumbo instead of chicken. That's pretty much the best thing about gumbo.
1/3 pounds bacon, diced
2 - 3 pounds chicken thighs, skin on
1 - 2 pounds sausage. I use my Hubby's homemade, but you can use Andouille sausage
1/2 peanut/ other vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 green peppers, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 quartz chicken stock
1 quart water
1/2 pound Okra, sliced into discs
3 Green Onions, chopped
1/2 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
DIY - CAJUN SPICE MIX
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp celery seed
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
LET'S DO IT
First, you want to chop and dice what's noted as chopped and diced in the Ingredients.
In a large stew pot set over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.
Set the chicken thighs skin side down in the bacon fat to crisp. You start with skin side down to render some fat you will need for your roux. Salt the meat side, which will be facing up in the pot. Let sit without moving for at least 4 to 5 minutes before turning it over.
Flip your chicken to brown the other side. Remove and set aside.
Brown sausages in the fat. Remove and set aside
Make the ROUX: Add 1/2 cup peanut oil to the pot. Let heat up a minute or two. You want to get the fat nice and hot before start adding a bit of flour. Lower the heat and continue adding flour a little bit at a time, whisking the entire time. Stir constantly for the first few minutes. After that, you can stir every couple minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook this roux until it turns dark. I like my roux the color of coffee with just a tiiiny bit of cream. It usually takes me at least 30 minute.
While you are cooking the roux, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil in a separate pot.
Add onion, green pepper and celery to the ROUX and mix well. Let this cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, stir again and cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix in tomato paste.
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 and stirring all the time, scraping the bottom of the pot to mix them all well. Add enough stock 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 the Cajun spice mix.
Add back the chicken thighs.
Simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the meat wants to fall off the bones of the chicken, about 90 minutes. Remove the chicken and let it cool a bit. You're going to pick them off the bones, roughly chop them and toss it back into the Gumbo.
Cut the sausage into thick discs and drop them into the gumbo.
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.
When you're ready to eat, add green onions, parsley and bacon and stir well.
I like to make a big batch, split them into serving sizes and store them in my freezer for my family to enjoy along cold season. I can serve them over hot steamed rice, with bread, or just as it is.
Roux take quite some time to make and needs more focus but the flavor worth it. You can get packaged Roux in your supermarket but I've always make my own.
I sprinkle a couple of chopped Thai pepper onto mine to heat it a notch.