About 20 appetizer servings (1 8 oz. cup serving per person).
1½ cup chopped bell peppers1 cup chopped celery2 cups chopped onions1 pound fresh okra
Seasoning mix:2 whole bay leaves½ teaspoon each: white, cayenne and freshly ground pepper¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves2 teaspoons salt½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves¾ cup of flour¾ cup of oil1 tablespoon minced garlic6 to 8 skinless chicken thighs1 lb. Andouille or Kielbasa sausage1 lb. medium shrimp, preferably with heads on1 dozen medium to large oysters in their liquor¾ lb. crabmeat or crab bodies2½ cups hot cooked rice5½ cups mixed chicken and shrimp stock (can adjust based upon the consistency you want)
Prep:• Chop bell peppers, onions and celery; reserve trimmings from onion and celery to make chicken and shrimp stock.• Poach chicken thighs with half of the onion skin and celery trimmings; reserve stock and chop chicken. Put aside in the refrigerator.• Peel, devein and dehead shrimp. Make stock from shrimp shells, heads and remaining onion and celery trimmings.• Put shrimp in the refrigerator until needed.• Slice okra and put aside.• Slice Andouille sausage and put in refrigerator until needed.• Mix seasonings.
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes (I use a cast iron skillet).2. Gradually add the flour, whisking constantly with a long-handled metal whisk. 3. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the roux is dark red-brown/brown (but not burned – adjust heat if need be, or take on and off burner), for about 10-15 minutes, being careful not to let it scorch or splash on your skin. 4. Immediately add the chopped vegetables and stir well (switch to a spoon). Continue stirring and cooking about 3-5 minutes.5.
Stir in the seasoning mix and continue cooking about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic; stir well, then cook and stir about 1 minute more. Reserve the skillet as is to cook the okra.6. Meanwhile, place the chicken/shrimp stock in a stock pot. Bring to a boil.7. Add the roux/vegetable mixture by spoonful to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. 8. Bring mixture to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn to medium. In the skillet in which you made the roux, add the okra and sauté until hot. Add to gumbo.9. Sauté the sausage, drain on paper towls and then add to gumbo.10. Add the chopped chicken. Return to a boil for 15 minutes.11. Reduce heat and simmer until you like the consistency – at least for a couple of hours, but I generally cook mine at least 4 hours. Stir occasionally.
When you are ready to serve, add the seafood and return to a boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until the seafood is just done. Mound ¼ cup of rice in the middle of each serving bowl (wide, low bowls are best). Spoon 1 cup of gumbo around the rice, making sure each person gets an assortment of the seafood and sausage. Serve with your favorite beverage and a fresh baguette from your farmers market!
A darker roux makes a thinner gumbo, which I prefer. If you want it thicker, don’t cook the roux as long (only to a peanut butter color). You cannot leave the roux for long without whisking, so make sure all distractions are taken care of beforehand.
Arts & Culture | The Dish
Chicken, Sausage and Seafood Gumbo Recipe
Recipe Courtesy of Shelly Johnstone | Photos by michael Hensley