Monday, January 25, 2010

Dad's Gumbo

This is my dad's recipe for gumbo and it is sure to impress anyone's taste buds. Gumbo originates from Louisiana so I have to give a shout-out to my favorite Louisianians- the Watkins! The key ingredient that sets it apart from other cajun dishes like jambalaya is okra. I grew up having okra at least a couple times a month and I thought it was a vegetable that every family ate regularly. I was so surprised to find out that a lot of people have never tried it. It is great in gumbo but my favorite is breaded in cornmeal/flour/lots of pepper and fried!

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed)
¾ lb Cajun or andouille sausage, cut into ½ in. pieces
¾ lb medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 large onion, diced small
3-4 ribs celery, diced small
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-oz. can whole tomatoes, chopped (save liquid)
2 cups frozen okra
1 28oz. carton chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Creole seasoning
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco, etc.)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
chopped green onions or chopped fresh parsley for garnish
rice to serve with the gumbo

Wash chicken, pat dry, coat with Creole seasoning. Brown in small amount of oil. Remove from skillet, cut into pieces when cool. Brown sausage in same oil, remove. Make a roux: in a large dutch oven, heat vegetable oil and add flour. Stir constantly over medium or medium-low heat. If flour becomes burned, you must start over! Once roux reaches desired color, immediately add onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add tomatoes. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add chicken broth, the liquid from tomatoes, and all seasonings (start with 1 ½ Tbsp Creole seasoning). Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 min. Remove bay leaf, check seasoning. Add chicken, sausage and okra, simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Add shrimp, turn off heat, cover pot. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped green onion tops or chopped fresh parsley. Serve with rice, hot garlic bread, salad and, of course, an icy beverage of your choice. Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

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