Making Louisiana Gumbo: A Lesson In Flavors From Home

Making Louisiana gumbo is what’s cookin’ in the Places In The Home kitchen today.  Our son wants to master the art of the roux and the flavor ya ya of my gumbo recipe.  The plan is to introduce his Canadian friends and co-workers to Cajun cuisine.  A lesson in flavors from home far transcends roux and filé.

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“Cajun cuisine is a technique-driven cuisine, because it’s a very humble style of cooking.  It’s about what can you do with humble ingredients like onions, celery, bell peppers, oil, and flour.  How can you intensify flavors and create meals that are satisfying and hearty and make you happy.”

-Frank Brigsten

roux-gumbo

flour-sifter

Roux

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Heat oil in a black skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add flour in gradually, stirring well.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir/whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches a rich brown color, approximately 30-40 minutes. You must stir/whisk constantly to prevent the roux from burning.  Black flakes indicate burned roux, and burned roux tastes horrible.  If you burn it, throw it out and start over.

Start over?

Start over.

 It’s worth it.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

Ingredients

8  cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 lb. package smoked sausage

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped onions

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped bell peppers

3 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon fine black pepper, or to taste*

OR in place of salt and pepper season with 1 teaspoon Créole seasoning, or to taste*

1 cup white wine

cooked rice

Directions

Slice sausage into ½ inch pieces. Using a seasoned skillet for optimum taste results, cook the sliced sausage over medium-high heat until browned.  Transfer cooked sausage to plate lined with paper towels, allowing excess grease to drain.  Set aside.

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Place chicken breasts in Dutch oven or stock pot, add water, and bring to a boil.  Season for broth with ½ teaspoon celery salt ½ black pepper. Stir and reduce heat to medium low, cooking chicken breasts until done, about 1 hour.  Transfer chicken breasts from pot to large mixing bowl.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and add back to broth.

sausage-chicken-onions

Turn heat back to high and bring to boil.  Add prepared roux to broth and chicken mixture, whisking until roux dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic, chopped onions, chopped bell pepper, bay leaves, chicken bouillon cubes, remaining celery salt and pepper (or Créole seasoning).   Carefully pour in white wine.  Stir to blend and incorporate.

boiling-gumbo

Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours, allowing all flavors to marry.  Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off the top of gumbo.  Add chopped green onions and continue to simmer for additional 5 minutes.

gumbo-file

Serve gumbo over rice.  Top with a sprinkle of filé, more green onions, and hot sauce to taste, if desired.  Gumbo is delicious on the first day, and flavor filled filé fantastic the next day.

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