This is my specialty, if i do say so myself!! I pride myself on having creole blood running through my veins. I LOVE creole and Cajun food- it is my favorite style of food to cook. I enjoy the spicy, the zestiness, the flavor, and of course seafood. In this recipe, I created a chicken stock and a seafood stock to add to my gumbo.
First, you need to make a chicken stock. This will be the base. I don’t like to use chicken broth in a can because it is not enough flavor. Good gumbo requires a layering of flavors, quick gumbo is not good gumbo!
- 5 drumsticks and 1 chicken breast ( I used this to create a chicken stock-recipe will follow)
- 1/2 white onion
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of creole or cajun seasoning.
- 1/2 gallon of water.
I seasoned and seared my chicken in the pot first with extra virgin olive oil just to seal in the flavor. Then I added onion, celery and water.You may need to add water as you go along. Just make sure the chicken is always covered with water, cook this in a pot on low heat for atleast 4 hours. I cooked mine for about 5 hours on low.
Once your stock has cooked down. Remove all of the bones. Your chicken should easily fall off the bone. Set aside. ( I poured mine in a separate bowl because I wanted to use the pot to begin the roux).
Making the roux is important as well in gumbo! A good roux adds to the flavor of the gumbo and is also essential! In New Orleans, it is the HOLY TRINITY ( bell pepper, onion and celery).
- Andouille Sausage sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper diced
- 5 celery stalks chopped
- 1/2 white onion diced
- optional: get a handful (1/2 lb) of crayfish and add it for flavor, or use it for a seafood stock.
- Chicken ( with chicken stock)
- 1 lb of shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Crayfish heads
- Shrimp shells
- 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of creole seasoning
- 4 cups of water
cook covered on low heat before you start making your roux. I began this seafood stock after my chicken stock was already completed. I only cooked my shells down for about 40 minutes. That was enough time for me to extract the seafood flavor to pour into the gumbo.
Now it is time to begin preparing your roux!
In a pot, add 1 cup of flour and 3 tablespoons of oil. Have your vegetables diced and ready. I like to cover the diced onions, green/red pepper and celery while the roux is cooking so they stay fresh. You will need a spatula or wire whisk and a large spoon by your cook top.
At your cook top turn the heat on high, place your pot on the burner and put in the oil and flour. Stir until this is mixed well. When the oil and flour start to bubble stir constantly for 5 minutes then turn your heat to down to medium high. Keep stirring.
In a few minutes the flour will start to darken. When you see a caramel color developing turn the heat down to medium. Keep stirring using your spatula or whisk taking care to scrape every part of the pot bottom. Don’t stop. Relax. A traditional roux takes a little time!
When your roux is red brown or the color of milk chocolate put in the diced vegetables. When the onions, green pepper and celery (known as the trinity) go into the roux there will be a lot of hissing and steaming. This is normal. Use your spoon to stir and blend in this mixture. Keep the heat on low. Keep stirring and scrape the bottom of the pot.
Cook down for 10 minutes or until veggies are transparent. Then add your chicken stock and shrimp stock.
Psssst!! Here is a little trick, I also add 1 cup of this mixed with 1/4 cup of water in a bowl, whisk together and add this to the gumbo for OPTIMAL flavor! This gives the gumbo an even darker, richer color!
Cook down for 15-20 minutes- While you are waiting for it to cook down, prepare your white rice in a separate pot. Once your rice is finished, set it aside. Then add the shrimp to the gumbo pot. It wont take much longer before you’re ready to serve and ENJOY!