The kids have voted and instead of the traditional Christmas meal, we will be having gumbo. We are a southern family and love our southern food. Last year we did a Turkduckin. Gumbo is relatively easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time. Honestly, I am happy they chose it. I make my gumbo with sausage, shrimp and chicken. Sometimes I add crab meat but I won’t this year. I also add the okra. Gumbo is not gumbo without okra.
- 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Roux
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lb spicy sausage
- 1 lb shrimp (raw 31 -40 count preferred, but use what you have)
- 1 Quart of good chicken stock* (homemade is of course, best)
- 1 bag of seasoning blend (cut up onions, celery, and bell peppers)
- 6 -8 cloves garlic, small dice
- 1 package of frozen okra, thawed
- 2 bay leaves
- Dry thyme
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper,
- Filé powder (optional)
- Water, as needed
- Long grain rice, make separately
Boil your chicken and debone.
Chop your sausage and peel and devain your shrimp.
In a heavy-bottom pot, cast iron is best, add your roux and heat up until hot. Remove from heat.
CAREFULLY add the sausage and seasoning blend. The water from the veggies will tend to spatter when it hits the oil, so back off a bit. Stir it all in until you’ve got it under control, then turn the heat back on and sweat the veggies and render a bit of the fat out of the sausage.
Once your veggies are getting tender, add the chicken stock. Bring it up to the simmer, make sure the roux is well incorporated, then add the okra if you’re using it. As the okra cooks, it will thicken the gumbo and lose the gummy quality a lot of people don’t like about it.
Simmer this for 45 minutes or so, then add your cooked chicken. This is also a good time to get your rice going. Season your gumbo with the Worcestershire sauce, plenty o’ hot sauce, some dry thyme and plenty of black pepper. Simmer another 20 minutes or half an hour, then add your shrimp and give it another 15 minutes.
If you’re using filé powder, now’s the time to add a few teaspoons of it. Serve over rice with extra hot sauce and crackers on the side.
We will have deviled eggs on the side and the usual Christmas sweets.