Monday, November 7, 2011


Everybody has their own version of what they like to call a good gumbo.  Some like it hot, some like it with just chicken, some don't like okra.  There are many different ways to make gumbo and my way might not be your liking, but I love it when it starts to get a little cold outside.  The one thing that makes all good gumbo alike is definitely the roux.  The roux is the base for the gumbo and really needs to take time and effort in order to do right.  Without a good base, there is "no soup for you"!

There are a few things that make my gumbo mine.  One, I use chicken, beef and fish in my gumbo.  I kind of use it like a "clean out my fridge" gumbo.  Whatever I have available will go in.  Two, I put some fresh tomatoes in to stew with the gumbo.  I feel like it gives it more body, and I love lots of variety in my gumbo.  The more vegetables, the better!  Three, and this may surprise some people, but I use lemon juice to finish it off.  I find that the lemon gives the gumbo a light feeling...even though it's a heavy comfort food.  And last, but not least, I use a touch of Mrs. Dash for the seasoning.  I saw a lady from Louisiana do it on television once, so I tried it and liked it.  That's the only reason.

  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1/2 c four
  • 3 chicken leg quarters
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 14 oz. smoked sausage (cut into 1/4 in. slices)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 c stock (any kind will work)
  • 3 Tbsp good Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp Mrs. Dash, table blend
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bag frozen, sliced okra
  • 2 lb. shrimp, peeled, tail removed
  • 1 lb. crawfish tails
  • 1 lemon
  • white rice, for serving

1.  To make the roux...get yourself a large, shallow pan and start to heat it up slowly on the stove.  Melt the butter and add the flour in.  At first, it will be a light yellow color:

 Then, it will start to turn a peanut butter color:
When it gets to a rich chocolate color, you are finished.  This should take about 30 min of constant whisking.  Don't be discouraged though, you can always make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge.

2.  While the roux is cooking away, season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear it off in a large Dutch oven.  When it is nice and brown, remove it to rest on a plate.  While that is resting, sear off the sausage...the same way.  When the chicken is cooled off enough to touch, take all the meat off the bone and set it aside with the sausage.

3.  In the same Dutch oven, saute the onion and the bell pepper until nice and soft, about 5 minutes.  Throw in the garlic for an additional min. 

4.  When the roux is done, add it to the pan with the peppers and onions.  Mix that together a couple of times and slowly add the stock.  You should get a thick sauce-like soup at this point.  Add all the seasonings and down to the tomatoes.  Add the chicken and the sausage and bring it up to a boil.  Cover the pot and let it simmer for one hour.

5.  After the hour, add the okra, shrimp and crawfish to the pot.  Bring this up to a boil long enough until the shrimp is nice and pink. 

6.  Finish off the gumbo by squeezing the lemon over the top.  Serve with some hot white rice and homemade cornbread.  ENJOY!!

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