Gumbo is delicious! Fishbone’s in Detroit has my favorite restaurant version of the this flavorful Louisiana style stew. And back in the winter when I made a New Orleans birthday feast for my friend Andy (read about it here) I had included a delicious gumbo. My taste buds started to water when I opened up the next cookbook in line and saw a gumbo recipe was tagged.
As I stated the recipe tagged was for gumbo, yum!! I started by make a chicken stock. Chef Michael Smith has a recipe in the book for stock which I followed. I’ve learned that a broth doesn’t really need a recipe, and all stock recipes out there are pretty much the same. For chicken stock take chicken, carrots, celery, onion, herb sprigs, a few bay leaves and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 2 hours. Then strain.
After the stock was complete I got to work on the roux. Roux is combination of fat and flour used to thicken. Roux happens to be used in 3 mother sauces of French cuisines. In classic French cuisine the roux is made with butter, but this recipe called for oil. I heated the oil in my dutch oven and slowly whisked in flour.
I continued to whisk until the roux became a deep golden color, which was about 5 minutes.
I then stirred in the “Holy Trinity” as Chef Michael Smith says of New Orleans cooking diced onion, bell pepper and celery. I also included a few crushed cloves of garlic.
Once the veggies were softened a bit I added chicken stock and cooked that until it thickened slightly.
I then added sausage, shrimp, tomatoes, okra, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme and cayenne pepper. I was also suppose to also add sassafras(gumbo file powder) but I was unable to locate it in the 4 stores I shopped at.
I seasoned with salt and cooked for about 10 minutes when the shrimp were cooked through. Then I added green onions and served.
The Verdict: Nope! This gumbo was SO thick! It was really not nice to eat. I looked up sassafras I found out is used to thicken gumbo, so since my gumbo was already almost solid it’s a good thing I was unable to locate it. But since I do have an actually great recipe for gumbo, which I made for Andy’s birthday, I have included the recipe for it below and next time I have a craving for gumbo I will make the one below.