I have always loved gumbo. I was in the mood for some the other day, but hadn’t made it quite some time, so I made some. It turned out great, but I forgot how time-consuming it can be. Here is the recipe I served at my last place of employment, The Admiral’s Cup in Fell’ s Point, Baltimore.
Chicken and Sausage gumbo
1 stick of unsalted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
¼ cup fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced (optional for added heat)
½ cup diced celery
1 tbl. heaping chopped garlic (or to taste)
8 cups homemade chicken stock or broth
1 ea. 14-15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 ea. 10 oz. package frozen sliced okra
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken (thigh meat or breast) diced
1 lb. sausage sliced (smoked andouille or smoked chorizo, or fresh hot Italian rope)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ Tbl. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked clean of shells
½ lb. diced peeled and deveined raw shrimp
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
Hot, cooked long-grained rice
For Roux: In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter and heat until bubbly. Add flour all at once and with a wire whisk, work the flour into the butter until all lumps disappear. Turn heat down slightly, and whisk constantly until roux turns the color of milk chocolate; about 20 or so minutes. Let roux cool, and set aside in glass or ceramic bowl
Note: The roux is the base of the gumbo, and should be cooked carefully. DO NOT BURN! You must pay strict attention when cooking the roux. The roux must be the color of chocolate. If you burn the roux, you must start over. Patience is required in this step. The roux at this stage is also napalm-hot, and will take off several layers of your skin, so be careful in handling the roux.
In a heavy-bottomed pot (2-3 gallon capacity) over medium high heat, heat up olive oil until hot. Add the onion, peppers, celery and cook until unions are clear, stirring often. Add garlic and stock and heat until boiling, then add half of the roux and stir into stock and stir until thickened and no lumps are visible, about 10 minutes ( sauce should evenly coat the back of a wooden spoon). If needed, add ½ of remaining roux and repeat until thickened.
Turn heat to low, and add tomatoes, okra, chicken, sausage, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano and stir until distributed. Cook uncovered for 45 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust. Add optional ingredients and parsley, stir and cover pot. Remove from heat. Let gumbo sit covered for at least 15 minutes ( trust me, the residual heat will cook the shrimp and crab until done; cooking shrimp beforehand will only make the shrimp tough and rubbery). Serve over bowls of hot rice and sprinkle green onions over the top. For the daring, have some hot sauce available.