Gumbo Versatile and Affordable
Save Money and keep your family warm and full with a hearty Gumbo!
It's supposed to be cold and windy in Fall and Winter, so now's the perfect time for a warm and filling gumbo. This recipe calls for chicken and sausage,some prefer shrimp but pretty much any meat will do. For vegans, seitan Chicken and vegan Andouille sausage is a great way to keep everyone satisfied!.Gumbo is believed to be a dish of mixed origins of French, Spanish, African, Native American, and Caribbean influence.The name is derived from the African word for Okra Gombo it is also known as Choctaw Stew. While okra gumbo came from Africa, the Choctaw Indians of the area were as much responsible for introducing gumbo to the French settlers.The earliest gumbo recipes were originally made with okra. The use of filé (dried and ground sassafras leaves) was a contribution of the Choctaws. Roux has its origin in French cuisine, although the roux used in gumbos is much darker than its Gallic cousins.This Authentic New Orleans Gumbo is made with a dark roux, vegetables, chicken, sausage, and shrimp, and served over rice. This is a beloved recipe shared with me by a native Choctaw!
Traditionally, gumbos have been divided into two large categories—those thickened with okra and those thickened with filé. Before the advent of refrigeration and freezers, okra was the preferred thickening agent for gumbo, while filé was a substitute used only in the off-season when okra wasn’t available. Dried okra became popular as an ingredient in 19th-century gumbos. By drying okra, cooks could use it in their gumbos year round.When you think of the Trail of Tears, you likely imagine a long procession of suffering Cherokee Indians forced westward by a villainous Andrew Jackson famous for his policy of killing native women and children when the men were off hunting or battling colonizers.What you probably don’t picture are the numerous African-American slaves, Choctaw-owned, who made the brutal march themselves, or else were shipped en masse to what is now Oklahoma aboard cramped boats by their wealthy Indian masters. And what you may not know is that the federal policy of Indian removal, which ranged far beyond the Trail of Tears and the Cherokee, was not simply the vindictive scheme of Andrew Jackson, but rather a popularly endorsed, congressionally sanctioned campaign spanning the administrations of nine separate presidents for congress Indian removal from Georgia territory was necessary to take their land and the gold that had been found on it. The Choctaw introduced Tasso, a spiced (Red pepper,ground sassafras leaves) dried smoked shoulder into the recipe and it is still popular in Oklahoma versions of Gumbo.
Gumbo is flavored with the holy trinity of vegetables like onions, bell pepper, and celery, plus hot cayenne pepper, various meat, and seafood. Depending on the regional style, it uses different thickening agents to add a rich texture, like Okra, roux and filé powder.
To develop the flavor of the gumbo, start by cooking the chicken and reserving the liquid. I use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs or a mixture. It cooks quickly for a delicious broth. However, if you want a more robust stock, you can use bone-in poultry. I recommended using 2 ⅓ pounds of chicken instead to account for the bone.For convenience, you can use 6 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or leftovers to add later in the cooking process. You can also use store-bought unsalted chicken broth or stock instead of the homemade versions.(For vegan recipes) use vegetable broth.Fresh okra is in season in the summer; otherwise, you’ll need to grab a frozen package. The light green, slender, tube-like okra seed pod has a grassy, slightly sweet flavor. When you slice it open, there are tiny white seeds. When cooked, it extrudes a clear edible goop called mucilage. It may seem slimy after boiling, but it won’t be so noticeable once mixed with the other ingredients. A small amount helps thicken the consistency. Draining the liquid after simmering helps remove some of the sticky substance, so it’s not overpowering. Thicken the gumbo with a roux.Making a roux is a classic French technique used as a thickening agent in soups, stews, and sauces. I make a dark brown roux from equal parts of butter and flour for this recipe. Prolonged cooking of 15 minutes over moderate heat adds a rich, deep toasted flavor. Make sure to keep stirring. You want it deep brown, not burnt!The flavor base of many Creole and Cajun dishes is called the holy trinity. It’s a combination of bell peppers, celery, and onion. Depending on the meal, various ratios and amounts are used. It’s a Louisiana-inspired mirepoix, and it adds beautiful aromatics, color, and flavor to the gumbo.
I also add minced garlic for an earthy flavor and allium aroma. Saute the chopped vegetables until tender. As they release their moisture, the natural sugars come to the surface to add a hint of sweetness to complement the savory and spicy flavors.Andouille is the most popular choice to compliment the gumbo but chorizo, and polska beef kielbasa, are also excellent. Use cooked sausage and slice it into thick pieces to add to the pot. I prefer my gumbo with diced pieces of tomato, It takes about 45 minutes to simmer. This duration lets the flavors meld together, and some of the moisture evaporate. I add the chicken in the last 15 minutes of cooking, so it doesn't dry out. The result is a rich, thickened broth with hearty chunks of ingredients.
If your pantry is not stocked with gumbo filé powder, then grab a bottle. It’s dried and ground sassafras leaves. It adds a characteristic eucalyptus aroma, with an earthy thyme flavor and even root beer notes. Did you know that the fizzy drink used to be made from the root bark of sassafras? It’s added at the end of cooking when the heat shuts off. When mixed in, it lightly thickens the gumbo. It can develop a stringy flavor when overheated, so you wait to add it right before serving. Some readers serve it on the side so they can sprinkle it over the gumbo to their liking. I use Zatarain’s gumbo filé for my recipe.
1/3 pound tomato diced
2 to 3 pounds chicken Breasts, skin off
1 to 2 pounds andouille sausage ,kielbasa or Chorizo
1/2 cup olive or other grapeseed oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 green peppers, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans roasted tomato diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
3 tablespoons Cajun spice, plus more to taste (see homemade recipe below)
1/2 to 1 pound okra, sliced into discs
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Cajun spice mix
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons File’
1. Brown; Chicken Breasts until cooked through in tbsp. of oil when cooked through add sliced sausage add thyme and cook until browned take meat out of pan and cut chicken and add 1/2 cup of oil to pan.
2. Make the Roux by mixing flour with the oil with drippings over medium heat whisk continually and allow to darken note: If you prefer you can use butter instead of pan drippings.
3. Chop the veggies. When you’re ready to make your gumbo, start by chopping celery, onions, bell pepper, parsley. Add de veined shrimp to veggie mixture as you saute' 5-8 minutes, onion, celery and parsley. You can now add sliced okra with chopped cloves of garlic, . Add it shortly after cooking the other vegetables pour in 1cup of broth cook until mixture boils.
4.Add to large pot. Add the rest of the chicken broth veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in seasoning, to taste. bring to a boil then add the rest of the meat and cup or two of water let it boil down adding extra seasonings to taste. Serve warm over hot cooked rice i prefer brown rice because of the texture. This recipe tastes even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to combine thoroughly.