Believe it or not, I had never eaten gumbo until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to make this dish. I knew that National Gumbo Day was approaching, and I though I’d give it a shot. I mean, all of the ingredients seemed good on their own, why not together?
So, I searched the net for what looked doable. There are SO many variations out there! I settled on a combination of a few I found. I chose a simple roux, lots of meats (hence, Jumbo Gumbo), and okra. I could have gone with a complicated roux, one meat, and file powder. Or I could have mixed those things up in any configuration – and I would still have had a very tasty gumbo.
With this recipe, the key components are easy. The roux takes all of 5 minutes. While you are making it, you can be browning the sausage and chicken. Using store bought stock also saves a lot of time…just dump it in there at the right time. Sure, if you have your own chicken, shrimp, or even vegetable stock on hand, feel free to use it! It’s just that in MY house, time is often of the essence. I want us to eat well, and as natural as possible, but I also want us to eat in a timely fashion. This recipe is a great remedy!
I was pleasantly surprised with the flavors. Typically, I don’t appreciate hot spices in my foods. But this was just right. Just a hint of heat as it was on the tongue, and a little more burn after the fact. Good stuff! The white rice was a great companion. I highly recommend this as an easy weekday meal…it can be ready in under an hour and will keep the family feeling full all night!
- 1 Stick Butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined, tails removed
- 2 cups chicken stock (I used Swanson’s)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3/4 cup diced peppers (I used red & green)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomato
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into pieces and browned
- 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into pieces and browned
- 1 cup frozen or fresh okra, cut into pieces
- White rice, cooked
In a large enameled cast iron pot (I used a 6 quart pot), make your roux using the stick of butter and flour. Stir until well combined. Do not burn. Stir often until aromatic and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Once the roux is done, add the onions, peppers and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Gradually add the chicken stock while whisking. Decrease the heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add the okra and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp, chicken and sausage and stir to combine. Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over rice.