Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gumbo Part II--A Confession

So I decided to make gumbo for dinner tonight. In reviewing my recipe, I realized that you, my dear readers, have been bamboozled. Yes, the earlier recipe is my dad's. Yes, he really did put cream of chicken (and occasionally cream of mushroom) in his recipe. But... hang on, I need a moment...

*takes a deep breath and lets it out*

I've only made it that way once.

I have a lot of health issues, and I knew that adding cans of soup to my food was not a good way to manage them. I also discovered that Alton Brown, my favoritest food chef ever, had a recipe for gumbo too. So I decided to take mine and combine it with his and see what we got. So here is my revised and renewed gumbo recipe.


1/2 cup, aka 4 oz flour (preferably by weight)
1/2 cup oil
10-12 crayfish, whole (optional)
1 lb raw, head and shell on shrimp
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4-8 Louisiana hot links, sliced into rounds
1 whole chicken, cut up into parts
1-2 crabs, washed and cut up into quarters, legs removed and set aside
1 package chicken gizzards (no hearts)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon file powder (if you made a brick roux)
1 pot of cooked rice

Put the flour and oil into a large, oven safe pot and whisk it together. Place the whole pot into the oven at 350 degrees for an hour, or until the roux has cooked to a dark brown or brick color (peanut butter color is fine too).

While the roux is cooking, take the heads off the crayfish (if using) and the shrimp. Take the shells off the shrimp too, putting the heads and shells into a small pot. Put the shrimp meat and crayfish bodies aside. Cover the heads and shells with water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour.

Prep the vegetables. Set aside. Do the same with the hot links and chicken, as well as the crab (gizzards too, if they need to be cut apart).

Once the roux is done, pull it out of the oven and put it on the stove. Add the spices. Add the vegetables and cook them, stirring, for about seven to eight minutes.

Strain the shrimp stock you just made from the heads and shells. Discard the heads and shells and pour what's left into the pot as you whisk. Add the hot links and chicken, as well as the crab and gizzards. Turn the heat up to a boil, then down to medium for 1 hour, or until the liquid reduces and the meat falls off the bone. Add the shrimp and crayfish. Stir in the file, if using.Turn off the heat and let the gumbo sit for at least ten minutes.

 Serve with a pot of rice.

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