Gosh. I could eat gumbo everyday. For me, growing up Cajun, this is the ultimate comfort food. And it’s perfect because you make a big pot and freeze most of it for later. While a little time consuming on the front end (it takes between a half hour and an hour to make a roux), it makes so much food that it’s worth it.
This dish is brought to you by my Mother and her great cooking skills/guidance!
- 3 big cooking spoons vegetable oil
- 3 big cooking spoons flour
(This is what I mean by a big cooking spoon. Like the kind you’d get in a utensil set.)
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper
- ½ cup celery
- 2 tablespoons garlic
- 5-6 cups chicken stock (like a big box of stock, 32 oz or more)
- 1-3 lbs cooked chicken (depending on your preference, I usually put 2 big breasts)
- 2 links smoked sausage
- 1 link andouille sausage
- Rice (to serve with) (For John and I, one cup of rice is enough)
1. Make a roux. Add 3 big cooking spoons of vegetable oil, 3 big cooking spoons of flour to a large pot. Put it on medium low fire, cook slow and stir periodically for 30 minutes-ish. It should brown, like peanut butter color. It should be thick (like the consistency of stew)– not as thick as dough or anything, but also not watery. If it is, add more flour.
This is what your roux should look like when it starts.
This is what your roux should look like when you’re ready for the next step. You can make it darker if you choose, but I like it peanut butter colored.
**Big note: don’t let it burn!! If it does, you have to start over. This step is the most important. I’ve definitely burned it and had to start over– not fun. 🙂
2.Add 2 cups of chopped onion, 1 cup bell pepper, ½ cup celery, 2 tablespoons garlic. Medium low fire. Saute till onions are transparent (about 5 mins). (Roux can still burn at this point– watch out!)
3. Add chicken stock till at consistency you want (not watery, but a bit more watery than stew). Then add water later if its too thick. My mother suggests that if you want your gumbo to be darker, add kitchen bouquet (about a cap full or more to make it darker, but it’s just for coloring so don’t worry if you can’t find it at the store). I have never found kitchen bouquet in a store outside of southeastern LA.
4. Add cooked chicken as well as 2 links Bryan’s smoked sausage and 1 link andouille sausage uncooked (cut into circle slices, then cut the circles in half).
5. Simmer for a while, 1-2 hours. Don’t let it get too thick (if it’s really coating your spoon, it’s probably too thick). Then cool on the stove for an hour or so.
7. Cool in fridge uncovered (put a cover on it after it cools).
That’s it! Gumbo is always better after its been in the fridge for a few days so feel free to prepare ahead! When you reheat and serve, if it’s too thick, just add water. This serves about 5-6 people.