Seafood Gumbo

A gumbo recipe that transcends generations and authentically Louisiana
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This is one that is near and dear to my heart. This is my first time writing out this recipe and sharing with the masses. I feel like my great grandmother Mattie Conerly is rolling her eyes at me from heaven but I had to tell her, just because you give somebody paintbrushes, doesn’t mean they’re gonna paint like like Picasso, lol. So, I’m blessing y’all with my sacred seafood gumbo recipe just in time for the holidays.

To be honest, I don’t think this recipe has ever been written, but passed via word-of-mouth in the family. My mama was raised by my grandmother so I got a very direct lesson in gumbo making, and cooking period, from the apprentice of the world’s best Gram!

“First you make the roux,” as the legendary Cajun cook Justin Wilson would say on his cooking show. Roux is the base of many classic Cajun dishes. It sets the tone for the final outcome of gumbo, étouffée and the alike. It’s the foundation of flavor that will resonate throughout the entire dish. For gumbo, you want to achieve a deep, dark brown roux – similar to dark chocolate. The roux gives the gumbo a thick texture, as it’s not meant to be very soupy.

Added to the roux is what we call the “holy trinity” of vegetables – onions, bell peppers, and celery. These three are the Louisiana version of the French mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery). The holy trinity is another crucial element to setting the foundation of flavor in the gumbo.

Then you have the meats – chicken and smoked/andouille sausage. I personally like to use chicken thigh meat because it’s more tender and naturally more flavorful than chicken breast. Andouille (ahn-DOO-ee) is smoked sausage that’s 100% pork. It’s a native French sausage that has onions and other seasonings mixed into the pork, stuffed into a pork casing, and smoked.

Shrimp and crab are the last elements to be added to the gumbo. Adding shrimp in too early will result in overcooked and mushy shrimp, and that’s not what we want.

Gumbo is meant to be simmered for hours, allowing the flavors to develop and marry together. It’s known that gumbo always taste better the day after it’s made, once the seasonings have settled and blended in the mix.

Accompany your gumbo with some cooked white rice, sprinkle on some filé powder, and it’s time to eat!

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 25 min Cook Time 2 hour Total Time 2 hrs 25 mins Servings: 6

Description

This is a real deal, tried and true gumbo recipe from my great-grandmother! Make her proud, y'all! 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. I personally make my own seafood stock using the juices and shells from my shrimp, the ends and scraps from my vegetables, and salt. I combine everything in a pot with the 6 cups of water, let it get to boiling, and then simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl, discard the scraps, pour stock back into the pot and let simmer until ready for use. 

    If using store bought seafood stock, pour into a pot, bring to a boil, then down to a simmer until ready for use. 

  2. In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Let it heat up for about 5-7 minutes and then stir in flour. Continue stirring without stopping for about 30-45 minutes, until a dark brown roux is achieved. Be patient, switch hands often as they get tired, but don't stop stirring because you don't want your roux to burn, because you'll have to start all over. 

  3. Have your holy trinity right next to you and when the roux is ready, dump in the vegetables and stir into the roux. Stir and let vegetables cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat. 

  4. Pour in the piping hot stock and stir into the roux and turn heat up to high. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes and then down to a simmer. During this time, you are adding in all of your seasonings and filé powder, and tasting periodically. This part takes finesse; as the mixture cooks down, you're tasting to determine if you can still taste flour or if it has cooked out.

  5. While the gumbo base is simmering. in a separate skillet, add in chicken over medium high heat. Season with all seasonings and stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the skillet. When chicken is done, remove from pan and add in the sausages. Allow the sausages to brown for a few minutes. Add chicken back in and stir all together. Once chicken is completely cooked, dump all skillet contents into the gumbo pot and stir. 

  6. Bring gumbo back up to a boil for a few minutes, then back down to a simmer. Continue to stir, taste, and season occasionally for another 30-45 minutes.  

  7. Turn heat down to low and add in shrimp and crab, and stir. Place top on pot and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on low. Turn off heat and let gumbo sit. Again, taste and season as you prefer. 

  8. Once it's all done, whether the same day or the next day, add hot gumbo to a bowl with a quarter or third amount of rice; garnish with green onions and a sprinkle of filé powder and enjoy! 

Keywords: gumbo, seafood gumbo

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