My Daddy is Cajun. He’s cool and funny (looking). He loves his food and the enjoyment you get from savoring it instead of inhaling it. He’s a s-l-o-w eater, almost as slow as this gumbo takes to make. So if you’re in a hurry, don’t make it. It’s against the law of Gumbo to hurry it.
Gumbo jail is not a jail you want to visit.
It’s also not the recipe my Momma uses to make gumbo. Hers is good. But mine is better. Sorry Mom. eh- Not really.
Well, Brandon loves this gumbo. Like, he could marry this gumbo, loves this gumbo. But because it would be kinda weird to marry gumbo, he did the next best thing. He married me, because I make this gumbo. And because I’m cute.
I got this recipe while on a trip to New Orleans. I was shopping and a vendor had some cards to register to win a free cooking lesson that she wanted to me to enter. I politely told her that I was just visiting and that if I won it I’d probably already be back home so there was no use in entering. Well, then she said to me with her French/Cajun accent….”Shoogah you
just put ya name on dat piece uh paypah an you be de at fuh-thudy cuz you done won” …I smiled and was going to politely tell her that we had plans for that time…and then she said “bring ya fren over de wit ya too” well, my friend said “sure we can come back at four thirty, we’ll still have plenty of time before our dinner cruise”
Damn. I was going to have to sit through a demo of someone trying to sell me knives, all while pretending to teach me how to cook….again! I’d been suckered once but never again!
And we’d have to RUN to the dock to make our cruise on time.
Well, after more shopping and meeting other vendors trying to talk us into entering for a chance to “win” this cooking lesson. We finally agreed that it wasn’t going to be worth it.
And I already had knives.
Then we came across a vendor that was telling people that you would get a free giftset filled with the chefs own personal blend of Cajun seasonings.
My friend was sold.
We were going to be running to the dock after all.
So around fuh-o’clock we followed the directions they gave us to where the cooking lesson/knife demo was being held.
We arrived and there were only 10 chairs for the “audience”. I was certain we would be the only ones occupying any of them.
Soon more people showed up. Then a few more. There weren’t enough chairs.
Wow, these must be some really good knives, or the free spices must really be crack in a spice bottle.
oh GOOD !!!! Beacuse if that were the case then we could ‘sample’ the spices before we had to run to the dock.
So after about another 20 minutes of waiting the Chef arrived. He was a big jolly man who obviously knew how to cook. I liked him already.
Now show me the knives you’re going to try to convince me are worth $1200. Just hurry up and give me the crack filled spice bottles. We’ve got a boat to catch.
Then he introduced himself…. “HI Everyone! Congratulations for being the winners of this fabulous cooking lesson….I’m Chef Paul XXXXXXX”*
Wait. Who? I know that name. My Daddy is Cajun.
I wasn’t going to be guilted into buying any knives. Unless Chef Paul was going to start selling those alongside his cans of spices.
Crap, we were really getting spices. So much for running faster to catch the boat.
Wait, what’s that you said Chef Paul?…. “today I’m going to show you a quick demonstration on the basics of making a good gumbo”
Cool. My daddy’s Cajun. He loves gumbo. And now mine is going to be better than my Momma’s!
Still a little disappointed about actually getting spices I sat and watched and listened.
For over an hour.
Quick?….. my ass! Chef Paul was as slow as my Daddy. We were definitely taking a cab for the trip to the dock ‘fo sho’ now.
So that my friends is how I learned to make gumbo that’s better than my Momma’s.
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 pkgs smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 package of frozen okra
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- Cajun seasoning to taste I use Tony Chachere’s (pronounced Sa-sher-ee’s)
You’ll also need for the Roux -2 cups of flour and 2 cups of vegetable oil.
Boil the chicken. While the chicken is cooking chop up the onion, bell peppers, and celery. Set it aside.
Now this is a step that requires all your attention so don’t start it until you have at least 15 minutes to devote to standing at the stove. This is also the part that my Momma doesn’t do for her gumbo. The fist time my Daddy tried it he said ” this aintcha Momma’s gumbo … don’t tell her this but it might even be better Shoog” 🙂
Get an iron skillet, or any heavy skillet that is NOT non stick. (coated pans don’t give you the brown color you’re looking for) Heat the skillet over medium heat. While it’s heating up measure out your flour and vegetable oil.( you could let the oil and pan heat at the same time, I do this to save some time) When the pan is hot pour in the oil and let it warm up, then add the flour.
Stir, making sure all the flour and oil is combined. Keep stirring. Stir some more. Do not walk away, do not quit stirring. The mixture may start smelling like it’s burning, it’s okay, as long as you don’t have any black specks in it just keep stirring. It may start smelling like popcorn, keep stirring. It will start browning, I promise. Once it starts browning turn the heat down a bit and keep stirring, stirring some more until it starts to look orange and then on to areddish brown and then a darker brown.
Well lookie there, you’ve made a roux!
Turn the heat down some more and then get the bowl of vegetables that you cut up earlier. Slowly add the vegetables to the roux, they will sizzle a bit and smell so good. Stir the mixture coating all the vegetables and let it cook together for a bit.
Turn off that mixture and then debone your chicken, reserving all the cooking liquid. Add the sliced smoked sausage to the pot of liquid. Shred the chicken and then add it back to the pot, along with the vegetable and roux mixture. Stir it all up making sure everything is blended. Now add the can of diced tomatoes and frozen okra to the pot.
Simmer this mixture for at least 2 hours, the longer the better though, adding salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and or tobacco to taste.
About 30-45 minutes before your ready to serve it, start your rice and if you want you can also bake a pan of cornbread.
OMG, this is so yummy. And not My momma’s gumbo. Hers is good. But mine is better.
Feel free to add shrimp or crawfish to this if you’d like. We just save seafood and add it to etouffe.
*the reason why I didn’t give the Chef’s last name is because I don’t use his spices. I’m a Tony ‘Sa-sher-ee’ girl all the way 🙂