Can you guess how long I’ve been wanting to try my hand at gumbo? Not one year…or two…or three…but 6 long years. As a matter of fact, I wanted to go to New Orleans just to try gumbo and jambalaya because I wanted the real thing. I wanted authentic creole cooking. And maybe that was one of the reason I kept putting it off because I figured if I made it (using some random recipe on the web…well it mightn’t be so “Cajun”?) However, in the spirit of trying new things for 2012, I decided to put my foot down and tackle gumbo. Believe you me, the search for the right recipe was not easy. It took 2 long weeks (yup! I spent many hours of the last days of 2011 searching for this recipe). What made it even harder was that I couldn’t decide what meat combinations to use. In the end, in true Tia style, I ended up using 3 recipes as guidelines (with 3 different types of “meat”) and the finished product was out-of-this-world, insanely, amazingly, wonderfully DELICIOUS!
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell peppers, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine*
1 tbsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice*
2 fresh tomatoes
1 cup clam juice*
4 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes and panfried first**
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined**
1/2 pound andouille sausage cut in rounds
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or more to taste
2 tbsp Creole/Cajun seasoning (I made my own) (paprika, garlic powder, ground pepper, salt, oregano and onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried mustard
*These were added as an afterthought so they’re not in the photo.
** I had seasoned these before hand with some salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce and paprika
1. Heat oil in a heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot and almost smoking. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is dark reddish brown. About 5 minutes.
2. Add chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery and cook until onions are soft and brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the stock, the Creole Seasoning, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, ground mustard, thyme, parsley, clam juice, worchestershire sauce, wine and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for about an hour.
4. Then add already pan fried chicken and andouille and allow to cook down for another 30 minutes (add more stock if necessary)
5. Add shrimp and cook until just opaque in the center, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with bread or white rice.
I’m telling you, this gumbo is already the best thing that I have made this year! It was even better on Day 2. Cheers to trying new, tasty dishes!
Bye For Now…..