You can have good gumbo or you can have no-so-good gumbo, but I can assure you that good gumbo isn’t “simple” to make. In fact, gumbo is one of my least favorite recipes/dishes to make, but it’s just so darn good. We love a good gumbo recipe in this household. After all, making gumbo is a labor of love.
Anywho, you know my rule here is that I won’t force you to read a 1200 word essay just to get to the recipe. Keep reading for my take on gumbo. Mine is a an amalgam of the many gumbo recipes I’ve gleaned since my first try at gumbo about 3 years ago.
This recipe serves 6-8 people and can easily be doubled.
For the Roux
- 1 heaping cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of good butter (Kerrygold is my jam)*
For the Gumbo:
- 1 bunch celery , diced, leaves and all
- 1 green bell pepper , diced
- 1 large yellow onion , diced
- 1 bunch green onion , finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley leaves , finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 23 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 6-7 cups seafood broth (can be substituted for chicken broth for a less seafood taste, I do both)
- 1 (8 ounce) container lump crap meat
- 14 ounce package andouille sausages , sliced into ‘coins’ (substitute Polska Kielbasa if you can’t find a good Andouille)
- Meat from 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- 2 cups uncooked Shrimp, frozen
- 1lb or more crab claws for garnish (or razzle dazzle)
- cooked white rice for serving
- Make the Roux*: In a large, heavy bottom stock pot (I use my 7 qt Le Creuset Dutch oven) combine flour and butter. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 30-45 minutes. This part takes patience–when it’s finished it should be as dark as chocolate and have a soft, “cookie dough” like consistency. Be careful not to let it burn! Feel free to add a little more flour or butter (but I use canola oil at this stage) as needed to reach this consistency. Cookie dough consistency is “traditional”; however, I do prefer mine to be a bit “creamy,” which is where the extra canola oil comes in.
- Brown the sausage. In a separate skillet on medium-high heat place the sausage slices in one layer in the pan. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then use a fork to flip each over onto the other side to brown. Remove to a plate.
- Cook the vegetables in broth. Add ½ cup of the broth to the hot skillet that had the sausage to deglaze the pan.
- Add remaining 5 ½ cups of broth. Add veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in cajun seasoning, to taste.
- Add meat. Add chicken, crab meat, crab claws, sausage, and shrimp. I cook this on low until the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Taste and serve. At this point taste it and add more seasonings to your liking–salt, pepper, chicken bullion paste, garlic, more cajun seasoning or more broth–until you reach the perfect flavor. Serve warm over rice. (Tastes even better the next day!