I love gumbo. Only with meat though, I'm not a seafood person. But a good chicken and sausage gumbo, mmm mmm that's my jam. My mom is partial to making a lighter seafood gumbo with okra. This means no heavy duty roux making. I am guessing this is a product of she and her mother, and I am pretty sure my great grandmother before her, not being true lovers of cooking. I never really have loved my mother's gumbo (sorry mom if you read this post this far)(which she probably hasn't) but the rest of my family does.
I prefer a dark rich gumbo. But until I met the ex, I always hated making a roux because I would always mess it up. When I lived in Austin, my friend Aimee and I would make gumbo on football Saturdays. I would make the stock and chop while she made the roux since I never made it right. It took forever but it was so worth it! I tried making it in the oven, in the microwave, but nothing worked.
One football Saturday two years ago the ex and I made gumbo for some friends for the LSU Ole Miss game. It was the first time we made gumbo together. I was amazed as his roux was awesomely dark and finished before I could finish my chopping! What was his secret? Higher heat. I always thought you could never have it on a high flame and mostly had to keep it alternating on and off the burner. Nope! All you have to do is watch it good and stir frequently and it will be done in no time!
We had a turducken for Christmas and my grandmother offered me some leftover duck meat to take home. She said ooh that'll make a good gumbo! She was right! I only wish I would have made my own stock with the bones of the turkey we also had but I couldn't take those away from her. The store bought broth would do in a pinch anyway. I ran to Rouse's the next day and grabbed some andouille and went to chopping. My sister invited me over for some wine with her best friend that was in town mid chop. I immediately packed my stuff and went. This meant I got to cook in her fancy kitchen, not do the dishes and she her best friend and my brother in law got some serendipitous gumbo. Everyone wins! And everyone loved the gumbo. I served it the next day to my former gumbo partner, Aimee, who was in town and she loved it too! Full recipe after the montage.
|The cast. That's the duck on the right.|
|I packed the chopped trinity up for an impromptu My Shitty Kitchen on the road post.|
|You want about a cup of vegetable oil or bacon grease. I kicked myself for forgetting my jar of bacon grease at home and my sister threw the one I gave her away because she forgot what it was!|
|I use a whisk to mix the flour and fat together at first and then switch to a wooden spoon.|
|After 25-30 minutes, you will have this and a sore forearm!|
|Saute up your veggies in some more oil.|
|Add your roux a scoop at a time mixing well.|
|Add your stock. Here's where I freaked out and thought I broke my roux. |
I did some emergency fixes just in case that I will tell you about below.
|Brown up your andouille. Sorry for the mess, sister!|
|Add that in and cook for a few more minutes.|
|Chop up your duck. I think some turkey got in there too, yum!|
|And chop your parsley and green onions as well and add that and duck to the pond.|
|As you cook, you need to skim the foam. I am a good foam skimmer, one of my favorite|
sous chef jobs! The foam is the white stuff pictured above by the way,
|Blasphemy! I forgot the garlic! I added that in late but still got the flavor.|
|And in the end you have a big dark bowl of deliciousness!|
1 cup of fat (vegetable oil or bacon grease are good)
1 cup and 3 tbsp of all purpose flour
1 and 1/2-2 bell pepper, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
2 cartons of chicken stock or broth
one pack andouille sausage
1 and 1/2 pounds leftover duck (or turkey or chicken)
6 cloves garlic
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
one handful of parsley, chopped
rice for serving
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the fat and the flour and whisk into a paste. Up the heat a little bit. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 25 minutes or until roux is desired color. Remove from heat and stir often. Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper in a gumbo pot until onions are translucent. Add the roux a scoop at a time blending well. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock until everything is combined.* Let simmer while you cut and brown your sausage and cut your meat. Add the sausage, meat, green onions and parsley to the pot. Chop garlic and add that to the pot. Skim the foam off the gumbo when necessary. Let cook for another 20 minutes to let flavors meld. Serve over hot cooked rice.
*I really thought my roux broke so I added some gumbo out of the pot at this point and put it in my roux pan that I hadn't cleaned yet. I mixed well to incorporate the roux remnants and whisked it on high heat for a while and then poured it back in to the big pot while whisking vigorously. It seemed to work, or maybe I was overreacting.