Gumbo is an art! It comes in many different ways but the key ingredient is the roux. If you don’t make the roux right it can become a complete disaster. Some will make their gumbo with shrimp or crab and others are known to make it with chicken and sausage. While I love a good seafood gumbo my daughter cannot eat seafood. Doesn’t mean we don’t eat it, we just like her to be able to share in the gumbo fun sometimes too. For that reason I make a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo. Andouille sausage really gives the flavor to the gumbo. The chicken gives it a hearty pick up. Then there is the controversy of tomatoes. This is really depending on my mood if I add them or not. Generally, when doing a chicken and andouille sausage gumbo I say it’s 50/50. When doing a seafood gumbo it is always and forever a no. I am just not a fan of tomatoes and seafood. I know I am a Italian a heart and in some sauces it will merry perfectly but in gumbo I am just not a big fan of it.
One of my favorite times of the year is Mardi Gras. I love to have an excuse to cook Cajun foods. Not that I necessarily need one but that’s the excuse I give the family Gumbo is a good way to get them to eat okra too. They like it fried also but it’s not the healthiest way for them to eat it. King cake has to be the one dessert of this season they cannot get enough of. Other delicious dishes of this season are jambalaya, etouffee, crawfish or low country boil, and some seasoned cornbread fried catfish. What is your favorite Cajun or Creole recipe?
My most favorite Cajun/Creole recipe has to be fried alligator. I know it’s not healthy and I really don’t care. It is all about the southern fried goodness when it comes to gator. It should be tender on the inside with an amazing crunchy batter on the outside. Gator is best served with fries, corn and cocktail sauce. When we all go out for Cajun this is what we all generally order. I wish gator was sold on the shelves because I would definitely make it at home. I guess it’s good it is not since it gives me an excuse to go out to dinner.
- 1 3/4 Cups Olive Oil
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- Juices from baked sausage and chicken
- 1 large white onions; diced
- 5 stalks celery; chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper; diced
- 2 handfuls of okra; sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic; minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 links of andouille sausage
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
- 64 oz chicken broth
- 4 cups of water
- Preheat oven or digital oven to 400 degrees F. Place sausage and chicken in a dish together and bake for one hour and thirty minutes.
- Preheat a large cast iron or enameled cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour 1 3/4 cups olive oil and juices from sausage and chicken bake into the skillet. Allow oil to come to temperature. Whisking vigorously, add the two cups of flour to the oil making sure to thoroughly combine. Switch to a wooden spoon to constantly stir for about 20 minutes or until the roux is a dark red caramel color.
- Add onions to roux and pour into a large pot. Add in celery, garlic and green bell pepper. Top with chicken broth just to cover and cook for about 8 minutes. Add in the rest of the chicken stock and water. Add in sliced sausage and shredded up chicken. Add in bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Cook on low for 20 minutes.
- While gumbo is on a low boil add sliced okra and one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet. Fry okra for about 4 to 6 minutes on medium low heat to remove stickiness. Add to gumbo pot. Salt and pepper gumbo to taste. Cook on low for another 10 minutes until all flavors merry.
- Serve with a scoop full of white rice and top with spring onions.
- Gumbo is an art form. Never ever leave it while cooking.