Being from Beaumont, Texas and having the other half of my family from Lafayette, Louisiana, I love me some cajun cuisine.
Every holiday that we go down to visit, we always get to experience true southern delight.
My favorite meal of all the dishes is gumbo. Today, I'll show you how I make my gumbo!
My recipe is a little different than most of my family's and others that live in "da boot", but what can I say, I went to school in Port City and live in Fort Worth, Texas, so I'm slowly working to regain my cajun touch!
The basis of gumbo and some cajun dishes (ideally, jambalaya and dirty rice for me) is Reaux. Reaux is a mixture of flour and fat used to thicken sauces.
Some people choose to make their Reaux from scratch, but I usually buy mine pre-made at the store. Usually Wal-Mart carries it depending on the area. (For a link to the one I bought out here in the DFW area, click here or click the picture above!)
Now I'm not the type of chef that uses measurements. I have no idea the absolute measurements of ingredients that I use, I just know that if you season something, you season it until it tastes good and has a little kick. Anyhow, here's the recipe:
1 Green Bellpepper*
1 Stick of Celery*
1 Garlic clove (or a tablespoon of minced garlic)
Olive oil or Grapeseed Oil (only need about 2 tablespoons for this recipe)
32 oz box of Chicken Stock
Meat (I use chicken one pack of thin sliced chicken breast & Zummos sausage - link here, but you can add whatever you like. Most people I know use andouille sausage, deer sausage, chicken thighs, crab, and shrimp.
Parsley - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric (optional) - 1 tablespoon
Sage (optional) - 1 tablespoon
*If you'd prefer to not have to cut veggies, you can purchase seasoning blend that's basically a mixture of all 3 of these. They can be purchased at Kroger's, Albertson's and Walmart. Click here for the link to the seasoning blend.
1. Preparation - Cut onions, bellpeppers and sausages into 1/4 pieces. Cut chicken into small pieces too. Take about 4 stalks of celery and chop it up. Put them in all different containers.
2. Cooking - Put rice to boil. Put about a tablespoon of oil into a different pot (ideally a large one) and put the fire on low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of reaux to the pot. Stir often until the reaux turns into a liquid. Should take a little while.
3. Saute Veggies - Once the reaux takes liquid form, add your onions, bellpepers, celery and garlic (or seasoning blend). Keep the fire on low heat and cook the veggies until they soften. The veggies should be covered in reaux and a nice brown. If you need to add a little oil here, do so. I add about a tablespoon of oil to make sure nothing sticks to the pot. After about 10 minutes, I add my meat just to get it simmered just a little. I add it at the tail end, right before I add my stock and water. Your meat should be semi-raw before adding stock and water. I add my seasoning here. I add a tablespoon of each spice. Seaosning to taste will come later.
4. Stock and Agua - Once the veggies have softened, it's time to add your meat (if you haven't already), chicken stock and water. Add the whole box of stock and add 3 - 4 cups of water to the pot. Stir it up and crank the heat to a medium heat. After about 10 minutes, add 2 sticks of green onions and cover the pot. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 more minutes. Basically cook it until your meat is cooked thoroughly.
5. Season to taste - Turn the heat low and add salt, pepper, cayenne and season it til you love it! Ideally, you'll add a bunch of salt and pepper. If it's too watery, add gumbo filet (I added about two tablespoons). If it's still not thick enough, take a small sample of the liquid only (about 1/2 a cup) and put it into a small bowl or cup. Add about a tablespoon of flour into the cup and mash and stir the flour until there's no more chunks of flour and it's completely liquid. Once done, add it to the gumbo pot and stir. You'll notice that it starts getting a little thicker. You may have to do this one or two more times until it gets to the thickness that you like!
Serve over rice.
Then boom, there it is!
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