Let me start this by saying that I have historically been very opposed to okra gumbo. However, after a lot of persuasion from friends, I decided to give it another try and make it myself.
My turn off to this style of gumbo was due to the sliminess from the okra that overtakes the entire gumbo. To help get rid of it, I first cooked the okra in a separate pan with diced tomatoes until the okra slime was practically dissolved.
Another first for me in this batch was adding in snow crab legs instead of the traditional blue crab. They were on sale so I said, “why not?” To my delight the snow crab complimented the gumbo perfectly!
Creole Okra Gumbo
There are so many different gumbo variations, so why not add another! Fresh seafood, chicken and sausage, in a deep okra roux with the perfect amount of spice.
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4tbs butter
- 1lb fresh okra, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 – 2 lbs snow crab legs or blue crab
- 1 1/2lbs fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2lbs chicken thighs, chopped
- 1lb smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups diced yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups shrimp or chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
- Gumbo filé, to taste
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add okra and diced tomatoes, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until okra is lightly browned and no longer slimy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While okra is cooking, make the roux. Heat butter and remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a large heavy pot until butter is melted.
- Add flour and and cook and stir for 30 minutes on medium or medium low, until mixture is a dark brown color. Stir constantly; if the heat is too hot, the roux will burn and you will have to start over.
- Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring often for 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, salt, Creole seasoning, thyme, and okra and tomato mix. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes uncovered.
- Add in chicken and sausage and let simmer for another 25 minutes.
- Add crab legs and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until they are mostly pink.
- Stir in filé until desired thickness and flavor is achieved.
- Serve with rice or let cool and store. Pro tip: gumbo is always better the second day.