Gumbo [North Louisiana Edition]


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Let me start by explaining the difference between North Louisiana Gumbo and South Louisiana Gumbo. In South Louisiana, Gumbo is made from everything found in the swamp or estuaries. It may include but is not limited to: Frog Legs, Whole Crawfish, Mussels, Crab Legs, etc. A North Louisiana Gumbo is more clean, exoskeletons and bones are not welcome. Sometimes we replace seafood with chicken or even combine the two. Andouille sausage is popular down south, I'm not a fan tho, I find it to be an overpowering flavor and it steals focus from the gumbo as a whole.

Shopping List:
  • chicken
  • sausage
  • celery
  • green bell pepper
  • white onion
  • oil
  • all purpose flour
  • tony chachere's
  • gumbo filé
  • shrimp
  • hot sauce
  • crackers
Keep in mind that you can alter the proteins to your liking. If you want a more authentic south Louisiana style, whole crawfish are a nice addition (pinch the tail suck the head). Also southern gumbo will be quite a bit more spicy so turn up the heat with some cayenne pepper and andouille sausage.

Start by cubing the chicken and slicing the sausage. Add the two proteins to a pot of boiling water and simmer until chicken becomes white. Skim any froth created by the chicken from the water. Here we are using 4 large chicken breast and 2 whole sausage links

While your chicken and sausage is cooking sauté your vegetables in olive oil. Here we have 3 large white onions, 3 green bell peppers, and a whole bag of celery

Celery is sautéed lightly, do not overcook because it will be added to the boiling water later.

Onions and Bell pepper are also lightly sautéed. Cut all vegetables large or they will cook down to nothing.

Once all vegetables are finished sautéing add them to the simmering chicken and sausage. Add water or Chicken Broth as needed to keep everything covered.

Next we will make the ROUX
The roux is an oil/flour mixture that we will push to the very edge of being burned in a cast iron pan. The roux uses a lot of oil but do not fret we will later remove that oil by skimming it from the top. However the oil is necessary in order to keep the roux from burning or sticking. We are making a 10 person gumbo so this will be a large roux, adjust your recipes accordingly.

For the roux we are using 2 cups of peanut oil and 2 cups of all purpose flour. Heat two cups of oil to approx 400 degrees and then slowly mix in two cups of flour. Add a little and STIR > add a little and STIR > add a little and STIR > until all 2 cups of flour are mixed into the oil. It is very important that you do not stop stirring until the process is completely done!

Down south you may see roux even darker than this. There is an art to making roux the trick is to find the exact point before flour develops a burnt taste. Once you reach the darkness you want allow the roux to cool some before adding it to the pot of simmering water. Slowly poor and stir > poor and stir > poor and stir > until all roux has been added. Poor slowly, a roux that is to hot will cause over flow and steam!

CONTINUED in next post...
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Now that we have the roux in the gumbo we let it simmer until that oil separates from the flour and rises to the top of the water. Skim all excess oil off. DO NOT OVER STIR we want the oil to separate and over stirring will break the chicken to pieces.

You should be able to skim off most of the 2 cups we used in the roux.

Turn the burner way down to low and let the gumbo LIGHTLY SIMMER. Here we can add our seasonings. We will be adding: 2 tablespoons of Gumbo Filé, tony chachere's and hot sauce to taste. You can also add things like: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, minced garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, etc.

peel and devein shrimp. We are using 5lbs small shrimp.

turn the burner back up and add the shrimp, simmer for about 7-10 minutes until shrimp are pink.

These shrimp aren't quite done

This pinkish color is what we are looking for. Once you get pink shrimp you can turn the gumbo down LOW LOW and let it set while you cook rice. Just normal white rice 2 cups of rice 4 cups of water. Adjust your recipe accordingly.

Rice goes WITH Gumbo not vice versa:Put a small scoop of rice in a bowl top generously with gumbo. Scoop around and find what you like, the chicken will sink around the edges so you gotta dig deep. Add that fucking hot sauce and enjoy!

Disclaimer: I did not go to culinary school and I did not grow up in a swamp. Corrections and improvements are welcome!
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