My husband is a true lover of Gumbo. I guess I haven’t had the ultimate Gumbo because it is not something I usually drool over. But in our house everyone gets a chance to voice their “want” for supper (of course, breakfast and lunch as well) so when he said he wanted to make (or I make…) this new recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine for Gumbo, well I went for it. In our house it is a two options menu:
a. take it and eat it
b. leave it and see you at the next meal
Don’t get upset, no one is starving. I just don’t run a diner, and frankly my family doesn’t complain, I don’t either. I guess I am old school that way: eat what you are served. But as I said everyone is welcome to request certain meals and everyone is welcome to step into the kitchen to make dinner. I don’t particularly like to share the (my) kitchen but I know it’s the right thing to do…so I slap on a smile and step aside. Gumbo tonight and Bear is up next with her version of Baby Back Ribs (Hello yumminess!)
Here is the recipe for a “lighter” Gumbo from Cooking Light Magazine, it is a bit time consuming but well worth it: Smoky Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
Note: I didn’t change too much from the original recipe, just a few adjustments for my crew. Which brings me to a tiny little pet peeve of mine: people who review recipes and give only a few stars but go on to say they didn’t follow the recipe! In MY opinion if you didn’t follow the recipe you shouldn’t: a. complain b. give a poor rating…that’s just not right.
My rating: delicious and although time consuming (as I said) well worth the effort, a fun relaxing meal to cook on a lazy Saturday 🙂
1 pound unpeeled medium shrimp
8 cups water
1 teaspoon black peppercorns (mine are the multi colored peppercorns)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 large celery stalks, chopped
3 bay leaves
3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons canola oil, divided (I used the canola oil for my Roux but then I like my olive oil to sautee my chicken)
2 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (Matt texted me chicken breasts…so that’s what I had: 3 large chicken breasts)
2 cups finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen cut okra
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (I didn’t have smoked paprika only regular so I added a touch of smoked chiplote pepper)
To prepare the stock, peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover shrimp, and refrigerate.
Combine reserved shrimp shells, 8 cups water, and next 6 ingredients (through onion) in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 3 cups stock; keep warm. Reserve the remaining shrimp stock for another use.
To prepare the gumbo, heat a large cast-iron skillet over low heat; add 1/4 cup canola oil. Cook for 2 minutes, swirling to coat pan. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Gradually add flour to oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium; cook for 8 minutes or until the flour mixture is caramel-colored, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until mixture is chestnut-colored, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; slowly add warm shrimp stock, stirring until smooth. Pour stock mixture into a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive oil) in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add onion and the next 5 ingredients (through bell pepper); sauté for 3 minutes. Return stock mixture to pan; add broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add okra and next 3 ingredients (through black pepper). Simmer for 30 minutes.
Combine shrimp and paprika; toss to coat shrimp. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; sauté for 2 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Stir shrimp into okra mixture. Discard bay leaves.
Serve over rice.
Another note: you could skip the stock making section if you already have a great shrimp/seafood stock but don’t use chicken stock, it just won’t taste the same. The homemade stock really adds lots of flavors. Finally, using a cast iron pan is what you need to have a beautiful roux, I don’t think it will work quite the same way in a regular skillet.
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Peace and Eat It 🙂
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