I am a huge gumbo fan. If a restaurant has gumbo on their menu, I order it so that I can critique it and hopefully, enjoy it. Gumbo is a science and if you get it wrong, it won’t turn out right.
When I decided to make gumbo during this cold spell, I wanted to make sure that I followed the important steps from a recipe. I looked no further than the king of Cajun cooking, Emeril Lagasse. My recipe is based off of his “Emeril’s Classic Seafood Gumbo” recipe. But if you know me, I ended up straying away from all the details and creating my perfect gumbo.
I think the hardest part of any gumbo recipe is getting the roux right. It takes patience, constant stirring and little prayer that it doesn't reach the point of burning. You come oh so close to burning the roux in order to get the deep, complex flavors that make a great gumbo.
I cooked this gumbo in my trusty Le Creuset dutch oven. Any heavy bottomed pan will do, one that can hold up to the heat.
Here is what you'll need:
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion
¾ cup finely chopped green peppers
¾ cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
One 12-ounce bottle amber beer
6 cups seafood stock
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package andouille sausage, diced
1 pound chicken tenderloins, diced small
White rice, for serving
Chopped green onions, for serving
Place an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, and add the oil. Allow the oil to heat for about 5 minutes, then add the flour to the pot. Stir the oil and flour together with a wooden spoon to form a roux. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to stir the roux for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the color of milk chocolate.
Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the roux and stir to blend. Stir the vegetables for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds before adding the beer and Seafood Stock to the pot. Season the gumbo with the thyme, bay leaves, Worcestershire, salt, and cayenne. Add the diced chicken and diced andouille sausage to the pot. Bring the gumbo to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer.
Continue to simmer the gumbo for 1 hour, skimming the foam and any oil that rises to the surface. Stir the shrimp into the gumbo and cook for 5 minutes. Taste the gumbo and season if necessary.
Garnish with the parsley and green onions and serve in shallow bowls over white rice.
If you don't like shrimp, chicken and/or sausage, you can substitute any of them for something you do like. You could add fish, maybe catfish, grouper or some other sturdy fish. You could add more vegetables such as okra or tomatoes. Don't be scared, make some changes to make it your own!
Now go make this, you will not regret it!
Chandler and Cathryn