From the mansions of the Garden District to tiny clapboard cottages on the bayou, gumbo, a local version of French bouillabaisse, has graced every proud Louisianan table.
Cooks note: If the roux burns at all, discard it, rinse and wipe the pan, and start over. Even the smallest amount of burnt roux will ruin the entire gumbo.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
- ½ cup canola or extra light olive oil
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped white onions
- ½ cup chopped green bell peppers
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 8 oz. smoked sausage, cut into crosswise slices
- 2 chicken breast halves, cubed
- 5 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups rice
- 1 cup okra, cut into crosswise slices
- 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh parsley
- Hot sauce, as desired
Combine the oil and flour together in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 12-15 minutes, until it turns the color of rich milk chocolate.
Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to the roux and continue cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to turn tender. Add the smoked sausage and raw chicken and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir the stock, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves into the gumbo; bring it to a gentle simmer and cook it, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside to keep warm. Add the okra to the gumbo and continue simmering it for 15-20 minutes, until the okra is tender. Remove the gumbo from the heat. To serve the gumbo; place a scoop of warm rice in the center of a large soup bowl and add a ladleful of hot gumbo. Sprinkle it with a bit of fresh parsley and add hot sauce, as desired.
Makes 8 servings.