Nola Gumbo

Jumbo Gumbo, even better the next day, leftover Dumbos!

Munch Munch

Recently I shared a tasty little bowl of Gumbo with his Lordship at Disneyland (see review) and was inspired to make some at home. I gotta tell you, as I write this, the house smells most splendid.

I came across this authentic recipe, of Chicken and Sausage style Gumbo on the NOLA site. 

 

Serves 6

Gumbo

  • 500g Chicken Sausage or if you can Andouille or smoked sausage (I’ll update this if I do source it on another occasion), cooked then sliced thickly
  • 1Kg Chicken Thigh meat, fat trimmed, cut into large and small chunks
  • Cajun or Creole Seasoning whichever spice mix you can find
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 2 cups brown onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup capsicum or belle peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cayenne or Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 9 cups Chicken Stock, heated
  • 2 Cups Okra, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 cup Eschallots or Green Onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Paper Towel

Rice

  • 3 Cups of Rice
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 Tsp Salt

Read the Handy Hints at the bottom before starting.

In a non-stick pan cook your sausages. Once cooked remove them from the pan and set aside on paper towel.

Meanwhile generously season your chicken thighs with the Cajun/Creole spice mix. In a large stock pot or french oven heat some vegetable oil and cook the dusted chicken on a medium to high heat in batches.

Don’t overcrowd the bottom of the pot or your just stew the meat, instead of sealing it. Between each batch scrap up any carmelised spice on the bottom of the pot to ensure your roux won’t burn later, don’t throw it away just keep it moving with the chicken pieces. Place chicken on paper towel and set aside.

To make the Roux, turn the heat on the Stock Pot down to low – medium, pour in the vegetable oil and pour in the flour in batches, whisking continuously.

Once the Roux gets close to Dark Chocolate in colour, add the onions, capsicum and celery. Stiry through until they’re a bit wilted. Note this is also a tad scaring to a first timer, because you are essentially deep frying the vegetable as they go in, once their bulk and temperature overwhelms the heat of the Roux they’ll be fine, just try to tip them in in big batches.

Whilst the vegies are cooking toss the Okra into your other frypan from the sausages and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the Okra on paper towel. Sprinkle with a little Cajun/Creole seasoning.

Add the Sausages, Bay Leaves, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Chilli Flakes and Thyme to the large stock pot, stir for a few minutes, then gradually pour in your heated stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for one hour. Stir occasionally.

Add the Chicken and Okra. Simmer uncovered for a further hour. Stir occasionally.

In the Last twenty minutes cook the Rice.

Just before serving toss in the Eschaollts and Parsley and stir through.

In deep bowls, make a mound of rice and ladle your Gumbo on top.

Garnish with a Parsley Leaf and serve with your favourite hot sauce.

***

To Cook Rice.

Rinse your rice in a sieve under cool tap water until the water runs clear. This will prevent glug and of all the gifted young Asian women who I lived with on campus with back in my uni days, not one of them did not rinse their rice.

Place in a medium saucepan on the stove cover with water and the salt. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to gently simmer for about 20 minutes until rice is tender.

Handy Hints

  • Keep the pan and juices from the sausages to cook the Okra later down the track
  • I couldn’t get Andouille Sausage where I shopped, I hunted around so I had to substitute with chicken as there was no pork either.
  • You want to ensure there is no lumps and your Roux is smooth so don’t tip the flour in all at once. This is the most important stage of the process, I have read so many recipes and they all had one thing in common, the darker the Roux the better the Stew. So my approach was slowly, slowly on a lower heat I could control the caramelisation process better and not risk burning the Roux and having to start over, if you see black flakes (not the stuff from earlier – than its screwed) and you’ll have to start from scratch and miss all those earlier flavours from cooking the chicken). It took me 15 minutes to get to a Milk Chocolate colour, the lightest you’ll want to go, push it a bit further to get close to dark chocolate. This part is scaring because the pot starts smoking and you’ll want to quit. Be brave.
  • I also added Okra, I felt it would be rather remiss of me not too and whilst I am here and can get it easily and fresh, the more veggies the better.

 

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