Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Gumbo

I have never lived in Louisiana, but I have seen every episode of Justin Wilson's Cajun cooking more than once, so that makes me highly qualified to talk about gumbo. I gar-on-tee!


There are thousands of different recipes for gumbo,  so you just cook what your family likes best.  I only make it when we have okra from the garden, and here is how I made it this year.
First, I chopped one cup each of green pepper, onion, celery, and carrots, six cloves of garlic, and, just because I could, two large jalapenos. I like to get all the chopping done before I start putting things together.


Next, I boiled six chicken thighs in about three quarts of water seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You will need the chicken broth later. Shred the thighs, including the skin.


Start a roux with 1/2 cup bacon fat and 1/2 cup flour.  It looks like the one above when you start.  Cook it low and slow until it looks like this.


 I have a surplus of tomatoes now, so I cooked about 2 1/2 cups.  Canned tomatoes are fine, too.


This is a busy day for me, so I am making the gumbo in the crock pot.  You can make it on top of the stove, but you have to stir it occasionally and I don't have time for that today. Put the browned roux, the tomatoes, and the chopped veggies in the crock pot.  Stir well.  Add enough chicken broth to cover well.


Add the shredded chicken and one pound of kielbasa, sliced into thin rounds.  Stir.  Looking good already!



Slice about three cups of okra.  Okay, I forgot the okra earlier when I was doing the marathon chopping.  Add to the crock pot.



Add about 2 1/2 tablespoons of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning. Stir. That may sound like a lot, but this is a lot of gumbo I'm making.  Disclaimer: The people at Tony Chachere's do not pay me to advertise for them. However,  if they want to, I'll take it.


Add more chicken broth until everything is covered and the crock pot if full.  Cover, and set the crock pot on high for four hours or so. 



Four hours later, cook some rice and ladle the gumbo over it.  Add some toasted garlic/Italian bread. I really wish you could smell this.


It was yummy!  Hub thought so, too.


A six-quart crock pot holds a lot of gumbo.  We freeze the leftovers in one-pint containers for busy days.  We take it out of the freezer in the morning; after work, we cook rice and bread and have a good dinner in thirty minutes or less. Enjoy!