Gumbo

There is something magical about what happens when onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery mingle with Andouille sausage to form the base for Gumbo. Gumbo is a stew and as with all stews they start with a roux. The roux for Gumbo is formed by first frying sliced Andouille sausage. The sausage is removed from the pan and replaced by flour and butter. The flour, butter and fat left from the sausage is slowly cooked until it begins to brown, forming a carmel color.

As the garlic, celery, bell pepper, herbs and stock are blended with the roux, a glorious aroma begins to fill the kitchen. Crushed tomatoes, chicken and the sausage held in reserve are mix back in and simmer on the stove until the tomatoes breakdown and the gravy forms. Just before serving, the shrimp are added. When they turn crimson pink this sumptuous dish is ready to enjoy.

I first tasted gumbo when I lived in Louisiana. A dear friend’s grandparents lived on the West Bank of New Orleans. They were Cajuns, descendents of French Canadians and spoke with a lovely French-inspired accent. I still remember the spicy deliciousness that surrounded all the dishes they served. When gumbo was on the menu it included a dollop of potato salad dropped right in the middle of the bowl; it’s the best!

This recipe serves four; or better yet two plus two for leftovers! The potato salad is optional but the brown rice is not!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound of Andouille sausage

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 3 celery stalks, minced

  • 3 tablespoon butter

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 5 chicken tenders

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup brown rice

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 6 large raw shrimp

  • minced green onion for garnish

Directions

  • Slice the sausage and brown in a saute pan. Remove from the pan and reserve.
  • Add the butter and flour to the saute pan. Cook until the flour is absorbed into the butter and fat left over from the sausage.
  • Next add the onion, celery, garlic and green pepper. Cook on medium to low heat until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the stock, tomatoes and thyme. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
  • Place the rice in a baking dish with 1 cup water. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 30 minutes.
  • Add the chicken tenders, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cayenne pepper, shrimp and parsley. When the shrimp turns pink, remove the pan from heat.
  • Spoon rice into a bowl and then with a ladle add the gumbo.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with minced green onion.