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Oct 27, 2017 02:54PM
Cherry, gumbo is easy to cook. You don't have to include okra. Some people do. Some don't. I believe the African name for okra was gumbo and slaves brought okra seeds with them and introduced southerners to okra.
Here's what I do. Finely chop a large onion and several pods of garlic. Sometimes I also chop some celery and some parsley, if I have it on hand. Simmer a whole chicken that has been cut into pieces and the skin removed (or a large package of chicken legs) with the onions, garlic, about a cup of chopped okra, and a small can of tomatoes or half a small can if you don't like that much tomatoes in your gumbo. Add some salt and black pepper and cayenne pepper, all to taste.
When the chicken is tender, remove it and set aside to cool. When cooled, you will remove the bones. Keep the chicken meat in a container to add back to the broth later.
At this point, you want to add a dark roux to the chicken broth to thicken it slightly and give flavor. You can make an oil and flour roux in a skillet on the stove, if you wish. It requires constant stirring and should be a dark brown color. You can also make a dry roux, also in a skillet or on a sheet pan in the oven. It, too requires constant stirring and you have to be careful not to toast it to too dark a color. I used to make my roux this way and when the flour got to a caramel color, I would mix a little with water to check the color. Now I go the lazy route and use a dry roux that is available in the supermarkets in the Louisiana foods section. I mix 3 or 4 tablespoons with water and whisk it into the bubbling broth. The amount used depends on the desired thickness of the broth.
At this point I add the smoked sausage, which is usually an andouille sausage. I slice the sausage into bite-sized medallions. If it looks really fatty, I might cook it in a skillet to remove some of the fat. Or I might just add the sausage to the broth. Usually about a lb. of sausage.
Simmer the broth for 30 min. or so. Taste and add salt if needed and add black or cayenne pepper. Add the cooked chicken to the broth and serve over rice. Have a container of gumbo file on the table to sprinkle on your serving. Some people like to add chopped green onions as well.
My mother added the gumbo file to the pot.
Some people like a big scoop of potato salad in their bowl of gumbo.
It's time for my lunch and I'm planning to warm up a bowl of leftover gumbo cooked as I described!
Seafood gumbo features shrimp and hard-shell crabs and in some cases oysters.
Dinner tonight will be a beef and broccoli dish made with flank steak.
My attitude toward a sous vide is "iffy." I don't feel a need for a different method of cooking. Stove top and oven are my preferred methods. During the summer, a grill substitutes as stove top and oven.
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