Thursday, December 30, 2010


A few years ago, a friend and I were traveling, and we spent a night in Shreveport, Louisiana.  We stayed with some very hospitable folks, and they served us some of the most delicious food I had ever eaten.  Gumbo and rice for supper, biscuits and jam and spicy sausages for breakfast. 

The memory of that food has stayed with me all these years, and about a month ago, I got a hankering for gumbo again.  I looked up several different recipes, then came up with my own.  I'm not sure if this is traditional Cajun gumbo or not, but I do know that it is delicious and is sure to become a regular meal in our household!  It does take a little more time than a lot of recipes (2 1/2 to 3 hours), but it is well worth it!

The foundation of a lot of Cajun cooking is a brown 'roux', used in gumbos, dirty rice, and other recipes.  A roux is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat, cooked slowly until the desired color is achieved.  Lighter shades of roux are used in French cooking and are used for thickening, but Cajun cooking uses a dark brown roux, which is used more for adding flavor.  Brown roux has the most wonderful aroma when it is cooking!  You can read more about roux at this page :


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
5-8 cloves garlic, minced
4-8 green onions, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 cups hot chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes with juice, cut into small pieces
2 cups frozen sliced okra
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled deveined and cooked (optional)
Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

     Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and sausage and cook until all the chicken is white.  Remove the meat and set aside.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter with the oil, and add flour, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat, stirring very often for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a rich brown.  Be careful not to burn the roux.  When it is brown, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables and herbs.  Return the dutch oven to medium heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter with the roux.  Add onion, green onion, garlic, green pepper and celery.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add Worchestershire sauce and parsley.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Slowly add the hot chicken broth, whisking constantly.  Add the meat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Add tomatoes and okra.  Add hot sauce if desired, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another hour.  Just before serving add the shrimp.  Serve over hot rice.

I didn't use shrimp this time, since I was serving it to my grandma, and she's not crazy about seafood. :) I usually give it a good couple shakes of hot sauce, and that is still pretty mild. I have also used gumbo filé in this, but I didn't have any this time either. I hope you all enjoy! This is a wonderful meal for a chilly day!

No comments:

Post a Comment