One of the very few things I love about Winter is the food-particularly soups. Who am I kidding? The Winter makes me feel better about all of those comfort foods, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, you know all of the fattening, bad for you food!
As I am told by those who live in Raleigh, we don’t have much time left for this yucky cold weather. Y’all, I cannot tell you how happy that makes me; it’s music to my ears! When it gets cold, there are 2 things I know I’m going to make; Gumbo and Jambalaya. New Orleans is one one my favorite places and being from Houston, I visited often. Who can resist the friendliness of the people, the food, the architecture, the history…the food?
My paternal Grandmother was from New Orleans, but unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet her since she passed away before I was old enough to know her. I would have loved to have her teach me how to make Gumbo and Jambalaya! My Mom shared recipes and taught us over the years and it’s been something I’ve been tweaking for quite awhile.
There are so many different versions of Gumbo, but my favorite has always been seafood gumbo. Let’s get started cooking!
I like to start with cutting up all of my vegetables. It’s time-consuming so I like to go ahead and get it out of the way. I have a food processor, but for some reason, I always enjoy chopping them up by hand…go figure!
Green onion is up first. Can I just say how much I love our local Farmer’s Market? These are the longest green onions I have ever seen! They are much longer than what you see here. I can’t wait to start my own mini garden!
I also chop up celery, garlic, shallots, green pepper, and onions. Mmmmm….With celery and onions, you know it’s gonna be good!
Now that my veggies are all sliced and diced, it’s time to make the roux. I’m sure even if you’ve never made gumbo, you’ve heard that the roux makes the gumbo. If you mess up the roux, you have to start alllllll over again. It’s true! No one wants to eat soup that tastes like you burned it all around the state of Texas. Yuck!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve burnt roux. Too many times to remember. And it’s frustrating as heck when it happens. When you’re ready to make your roux, you can’t do anything else. I have everything laid out next to the stove so I just have to grab it as needed. If you need to go to the bathroom, go before you start. Think you’re gonna get thirsty? Have a glass next to you. It’s that serious y’all!
Rouxs range in all colors, from blonde to a dark brown-reddish color. I prefer the brownish-reddish color when I make roux. The blondes I leave for other soups like potato soup. There aren’t alot of ingredients in roux. it’s just 2-oil or butter and flour. That’s it. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? But let me tell ya, it’s quick to burn so pay attention! Okay, I think you get it now.
I’m using one of my big stock pots so everything can fit onto one pot.
First up, let’s melt some butter!
Once it’s melted, it’s time to slowly start adding the flour. Notice I said slowly. Don’t just dump it all in there or you’re going to have a big ‘ole mess on your hands. If patience is not a virtue you have, by the time you’ve made roux, you’re gonna have some.
Sprinkle and stir. Sprinkle and stir. That’s the name of this game!
Just keep stirring…just keep stirring….
I’ve got my roux the color I want it so it’s time to start adding the veggies! See what I mean about the color of the roux? Remember how blonde it was? Now look! Yum! But not quite time to eat just yet.
I’ll let the veggies simmer for a bit and it’s time to add the chicken broth. I was lazy today and didn’t have any more homemade broth so I bought some (don’t judge me). I also add all of my spices and seasonings now too. I like to add them in as early as possible so they can fill the pot. It’s smelling sooo good, y’all!
While that’s simmering for a bit, I’m going to go ahead and slice the sausage and rinse off my chicken drumettes. Yes, I know I said this was seafood gumbo, but I have to have the chicken too!
I place the chicken in the pot, let it cook for a bit and then add the sausage. Of course, the chicken is going to take longer to cook than the sausage so that’s why it gets the privilege of going first.
I’m going to go clean my mess I’ve made here in the kitchen while this is cooking because when it’s ready, I want to eat. Not have to worry about cleaning the kitchen.
When the chicken is almost done, I add in the okra.
When the chicken is done, it’s time for the super exciting part, the seafood! I only add shrimp and crab legs. The shrimp goes in first and just about when the shrimp are done, add the crab legs. They are only going to need a couple of minutes.
Okay, it’s time to grab a bowl and eat to your heart’s content! This will be the last time I make gumbo until it gets cold again so I’m going to savor every last bite!
I like to have rice with my gumbo, but I know several people who do not so the choice is up to you. I like to use basmati rice. Don’t forget to add the gumbo filé! Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup of green peppers, chopped
- 2 cups of onion
- 1 1/2 cups of celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 stalk of green onion
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 t shallots, chopped
- 1 cup butter (if you don't want to use butter, you can use vegetable oil)
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups flour
- 1 T Sage
- 1 T Thyme
- 1 T parsley
- 1/2 t oregano
- 1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- Andouille or polska kielbasa sausage
- Medium shrimp
- Crab legs
- Gumbo filé
- Chop all vegetables and set aside (you'll be glad you did this in the beginning)
- Turn the eye on low-medium low heat
- Put butter in stock pot and allow to melt ( do not let the butter burn)
- Once the butter has melted, slowly add in flour while stirring (do not dump it all in at once)
- Stir and cook butter and flour mixture until desired color of the roux is achieved (to achieve the color I had in the pictures, this took about 30-45 minutes)
- Add in your vegetables, seasonings, and spices
- Let simmer for 15-20 minutes
- Add in the Worcestershire sauce
- Add the can of stewed tomatoes
- Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes
- Add in the chicken wingettes and simmer for about 40 minutes
- If you're having rice with your gumbo, this is a good time to go ahead and make it
- Add the okra when the chicken is almost done
- Remember to check on it and stir to make sure it doesn't burn!
- Add the shrimp
- Cook for 10 minutes
- Add the crab legs and cook for another 10 minutes.
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