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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Different kinds of Gumbo

In my opinion, gumbos fall into three categories, Seafood Gumbo, Gumbo Z’herbs and Meat Gumbos. Gumbo Z’herbs is a gumbo that is mostly made of green leafy vegetables. I will share this recipe with you another time. Today I am sharing with you 2 gumbo recipes, a meat one and a seafood one. The main reason for the seafood one is to show you how to make a roux in the oven.

Today, I want to share with you my recipe for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. In New Orleans, this gumbo also goes by the name of Gumbo Ya-Ya. When Mr. B’s Bistro opened in the French Quarter in 1979, one of their signature dishes was and still is the Gumbo Ya-Ya. Back then, most gumbos found in restaurants were of the seafood variety. In the 1980’s, chicken and sausage gumbo started to make its mark on menus. This gumbo tends to be darker and not as thick as a Seafood gumbo. The only thickening agent used in these gumbos is the roux. Seafood gumbo uses Okra and Filé, along with the roux, to thicken the recipe. That’s why the Gumbo Ya-Ya is thinner. So for everyone who don’t care for seafood, this gumbo is for you.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

2 1/2 pounds Chicken meat, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

11/4 cups Flour

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 cup Onions, chopped

3/4 cup Celery, diced

1 cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped

6 cups Chicken Stock

1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic, minced

3/4 pound Andouille or Smoked Sausage, cut into small discs

2 cups Rice, cooked and hot

Season chicken with Creole Seasoning and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Measure flour into a large paper bag. Add chicken and shake until well coated. Remove chicken and set remaining flour aside. In a large skillet, brown chicken in very hot oil. When browned, remove chicken and set aside. Stir oil remaining in the skillet with a wire whisk to loosen any brown bits remaining on the bottom of the pan. Whisk in 1 cup of the remaining flour and whisk constantly over medium heat until the roux becomes dark brown. Be sure to stir constantly and do not let this mixture burn. If it burns, you must start the roux over. It will probably take 15-25 minutes. Add onions, celery and bell pepper, cooking until the vegetables are tender. Transfer roux and vegetables to a large heavy saucepan. Add stock to the roux and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to a quick simmer and add the garlic, sausage and chicken. Continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is tender, 1 3/4-2 hours. Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over rice.

The reason I have included this recipe is for its Roux. This roux is made in the oven. It takes longer but there is little chance of you getting burned due to roux splashing on you.

LeRuth’s “Back of the House” Gumbo

1/4 pound Bacon, diced and sautéed

1/2 cup Salad Oil

4 stalks Celery, chopped

1 bunch Green Onions, chopped

4 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 small Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons Thyme

2 Bay Leaves

3 tablespoons Tomato Paste

3/4 pound fresh Okra, chopped and sautéed well in bacon drippings

2 pounds headless large Shrimp, boiled in 1 1/2 quarts of Water (Reserve water for Stock)

3 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 pound fresh Lump Crabmeat

Brown Roux Recipe

1 cup Salad Oil

2 1/2 cups Flour

Mix together and brown in 425℉ oven for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Cool and store in plastic cup. Refrigerate leftover for other needs.

Gumbo Recipe

Cook bacon and remove. Sauté okra well in bacon drippings until there are not signs of sliminess. Remove okra from pot. Heat salad oil and sauté all chopped seasonings and herbs real well. Add tomato paste and sauté a minute or two. Add shrimp stock, cooked bacon and okra. Bring to a boil and thicken with brown roux to desired consistency. Cover and simmer for about an hour. Add peeled shrimp, parsley and lump crabmeat. Adjust salt, pepper and add a little Tabasco. Serve with freshly steamed rice.

These recipes will satisfy any craving you have for gumbo.Whichever one you use, you will be eating great New Orleans cooking!

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