Matt’s Gumbo (light version)

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 🙂

Cooking Light Gumbo! Yummo 😉



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)

How to:

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.

Cleaning shrimp not fun but a necessary step!

Stock in the works, well worth the effort

lovely stock, can't beat homemade flavors

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.

Roux: bring your patience and do not leave unattended!

Beautiful roux....simply amazing!

when roux and stock meet magic happens!

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.

all aboard! see you in 45 minutes!

this is really coming together....and the smell: amazing!

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.

I even cooked the shrimp in the cast iron pan!

We are ready! Smells delicious in the casa!

Serve over rice.

Filled with delicious flavors and wonderful textures!

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.

Printer Friendly: Gumbo

Peace and Eat It 🙂


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6 thoughts on “Matt’s Gumbo (light version)

  1. Girl, we share the same motto, lol. I’m no short-order cook, so like it or leave it!! 🙂 Love the gumbo recipe! Anything cajun or southern gets two thumbs up for me 🙂

I love your I love cookies,please leave one ;)

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