Image courtesy of Food Network
Okay folks. This is my all time favorite dish. It looks intimidating because of all the ingredients but really, the roux and all the prep work are the hardest parts. For those of you who are not familiar with gumbos, you can check out this site.
The cooking time for gumbo is around 4 hours. This doesn't include the prep time that you need to chop up the vegetables. So if you're serving it for dinner, it's best to start early.
The roux is the most important part of the gumbo. It's very important that it's cooked properly and with care. If you burn it, you need to start over. Really. You don't want a gumbo with burnt roux. The rustic rub are your spices. The recipe will call for a big batch. You only have to make it once and it will last many, many, gumbo dinners. Just store it in an airtight container. Ready to make some? This is a recipe from Emeril Lagasse that I've tweaked over and over until I was happy with the results. I've tried to stay true to his original - but I think mine is better :). Here is my version:
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo with Langostine Tails
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 pound smoked sausage such as andouille or kielbasa (cut in 1/2 inch slices)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3 bay leaves
6 cups water
1 pound boneless chicken breast cut into chunks
1 pound langostine or crawfish tails* (or substitute with shrimp)
1 bag frozen okra
3 tbsp. rustic rub (recipe will follow)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped green onions
* You can buy the langostine or crawfish tails at your local Trader Joes in the frozen seafood section
1. Over medium heat, combine oil and flour in a large soup pot. Stir constantly and continuously for about 25-30 minutes until the roux turns into a caramel color.
2. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers until wilted (about 5 minutes)
3. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne and bay leaves. Stir for 3 minutes.
4. Add the water and stir until the roux and the water are well combined
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let cook uncovered for 1 hour. Add two tbsp. of the rustic rub. Stir occasionally.
6. Season the chicken with the rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours.
7. Add the okra. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
8. Add the langostine tails, parsley, and green onions and simmer for another 5- 10 minutes or until langostine tails are cooked.
9. Add more rustic rub if you want more kick or salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in deep bowls over white rice.
8 tbsp. paprika
3 tbsp. cayenne
5 tbsp. freshly ground pepper
6 tbsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. onion powder
6 tbsp. salt
2 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
Enjoy your Sunday dinner!