Summer is officially over and so begins thoughts of what our family considers more fall like cooking. Gumbo is certainly a favorite around the house.
This recipe is a derivative of one from my good friend Foamheart. In fact it was he who taught me the proper way to make a roux. (IOHO) Credit is due to Kevin for sure!
First things first. I was out of bacon fat. So I needed to make some. I rendered down a diced block of salt pork. Reserved the fat from the pot and that gave me 1/2 cup.
Next I browned 1 pound of Andouille . Big controversy about browning sausage for gumbo or just leaving it be. I like it brown.
Next one pound of chicken thighs lightly dusted with Tony C and browned. If you have the time, using a whole boiled or smoked hen is always better IMHO.
And lastly, before we tackle the roux I'll chop up the Trinity. 2 cups white onion, 1 cup celery, 1 cup green bell pepper. And I minced 3 garlic toes.
Okay. It's Roux time. There are lots of different roux. They range from the color of white to dark mahogany. The color you should choose typically depends on the meat going in the soup. Example fish would take a lighter roux than sausage, It also depends on your tastes and temperament about continuous nonstop stirring for long periods of time. And I mean continuous. Let your roux set for too long in one spot and it WILL burn. On fleck of burned roux and you'll need to throw it out and start again.
Safety first! I am convinced that there is no hotter substance to hit your skin than a splash of roux. Be cautious. Respect the roux! It will bite.
First take two beers. Do Not put them in the roux! They are refreshments for the poor guy that doing all the stirring.
Remember that 1/2 cup of fat from the beginning? Pour it in the pot and sprinkle in 3/4 cup of flour over a medium / medium high heat. Cast Iron pot works best.
Stir Stir Stir I like using an egg flipper to cover more area.
Keep stirring. Do not stop. You will see the roux gradually get darker.
And as you can see here, I am stirring... You get the idea.
Once my roux reaches the desired color I dump in the 2 cups of chopped onion to cool it off.
To that I add about 32oz of cold or room temperature chicken stock, the garlic, bell pepper and celery. 2 FRESH bay leafs. 2 tablespoons Tabasco. 2 tablespoon Worcestershire. 1 teaspoon of Better than Bullion Chicken glop. Pepper to taste. You might need salt. ... but taste it first as the ingredients listed have lots of sodium.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Now add your meat and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Fish out those 2 bay leafs you put it. Fine chop fresh parsley and chop a few green onions to top your gumbo.
Serve with a good quality white rice and a pinch of file.