So you’ve landed at this site thinking you might find a memorable gumbo recipe rather than a wordy blog. How utterly reasonable.
After two years of leading gumbo-hungry blog-surfers astray, I have decided to give the people of the blogosphere what they want. To wit, this post of my recently proven – and utterly delicious – chicken and shrimp gumbo recipe. Hope it is as satisfying as the words you may also have found here.
Author/chef’s note: If you prefer not to use the shrimp or oysters in your gumbo, raise the quantity of chicken accordingly. If you do not use sliced bacon, you will need to add about 3 tablespoons of bacon fat or vegetable oil at the beginning in which to brown the chicken. This recipe uses okra rather than a roux for thickening. Making the roux adds another step but I believe adds a desirable gravy character. If you choose to use some roux, drop the okra quantity down to 3 cups and add about a half cup of roux where when called for in the recipe. Retain the rest of the roux for additional thickening if desired at the end of the recipe.
2 lbs Chicken cut into 8 pieces (3 lbs if seafood not used)
1 lb. Medium size shrimp (shelled) or Raw oysters
½ lb. Andouille sausage sliced into ¼ inch slices
¼ lb. Sliced bacon, cottage bacon or smoked ham
3 cups Okra sliced if fresh, or use frozen as is
3 cups Chicken broth
2 cups Diced tomatoes
1 cup Cooked rice
2 tbsp. Butter
1 Green bell pepper diced 1/4”
1 Onion medium finely chopped
1 Celery stalk coarsely diced 1/4”
4 Garlic cloves chopped
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Thyme
3 tbsp. Rum
—- A hearty dash of your favorite hot sauce or chipotle sauce
— Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tbsp. file spice; 1 cup roux; 1 Small Jalapeno pepper or a smoky Hatch pepper thinly sliced.
Using a deep skillet or 4-quart saucepan, cook the bacon strips to desired crispness. Set aside and crumble the bacon strips. Pat the chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of flour to the chicken pieces and place them in the pan. Brown the chicken, remove from the pan and set aside. Pour off excess fat, retaining about 3 tablespoons in pan.
Add okra, onion and bell pepper and cook on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes – stirring frequently. Next add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chopped bacon (or ham), celery, and the rum. Simmer about 10-15 minutes. Add the chicken and andouille sausage and continue simmering about 40 minutes. During this step add salt, pepper, hot sauce and/or jalapeño to taste.
Carefully remove the chicken from the pan and pull the meat from the bone (discard most of the skin for health) and return chicken meat to the gumbo. Add the shrimp or oysters, the butter and the file spice. If you prefer to include the cooked rice in the gumbo add it now. Continue simmering about 5 minutes and until the shrimp is just cooked. Adjust the liquidity of your gumbo by thickening with the extra roux or thinning with a little beer. Serve hot and fresh…but it tastes even better tomorrow.