This is another recipe that we tested for the ‘Cooking Class’ section of Bethesda Magazine (see their version of it here). Our version is modified quite a bit from the recipe we were given because we couldn’t find a spice called filé powder or the duck that was called for in the original recipe. So, we omitted the file powder and substituted chicken for the duck and the resulting creation was a tasty Gumbo feast that could easily have fed 20. We invited my parents to enjoy the meal with us, sent some to neighbors and froze leftovers that we ate for three more meals. The recipe takes a few hours but pays off because you won’t have to cook again for at least a couple days. If you don’t want to have as much Gumbo as we did I would suggest halving the recipe…or just give a lot to your neighbors!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty picky about Chardonnays. I find that many have a metallic flavor (maybe from being aged in a steel barrel?) that I find very unappealing. This one, however, didn’t have that problem…it had a smooth, silky flavor balanced by notes of citrus and pineapple. The bright notes in the wine contrasted perfectly with the bold and savory flavors of the gumbo.
We had to pair our gumbo with a beer from Louisiana… This dark brown ale from Abita was light in body but had bold chocolate and roasted flavors from the malt. It was light enough to wash down the thick gumbo but had strong enough flavors to stand out against the various ingredients in the gumbo. While this beer paired really well with our meal it would be just as good as a session beer for someone who likes dark malty beers.
Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Gumbo:
Roux: 1 cup flour and 1 cup vegetable oil
1 pound okra
2 onions, chopped
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup chopped spring onions
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped garlic
2-4 Tbs. Cajun spice blend (see recipe below)
2 pounds Andouille sausage
2 pounds chicken thighs and legs, quartered
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1. Prepare roux: in a large pot, combine flour and oil over medium heat. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently. Cook this roux for at least 20 minutes over medium high heat until it is the color of dark caramel.
2. Add the onion, bell peppers and celery to the roux and stir, cooking altogether for 15 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the green onions, parsley, garlic and Cajun spice blend and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the chicken and the andouille sausage. Simmer over a low temperature for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
6. 10 minutes prior to serving, add the shrimp and simmer just until cooked. Adjust seasoning with black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper, as well as salt. Serve over rice.
Cajun Spice Blend:
1 Tbs. Salt
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. onion powder
½ Tbs. garlic powder
½ Tbs. black pepper
½ Tbs. white pepper
½ Tbs. dry thyme
½ Tbs. dry basil
½ Tbs. dry oregano
½ Tbs. celery seed
1 tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.