Moving away from code for a change, this weekend I’ll be making Gumbo, a classic New Orleans dish. I found a recipe in Jamie’s America, but I also wanted to do some research into what makes a classic Gumbo.
The holy trinity - bell peppers, celery & onion
There are 3 types of thickener used in Gumbo:
- Okra (available from African shops and some supermarkets)
- Filé powder (doesn’t seem easy to find in the UK)
- Roux (a mixture of flour and butter or oil, cooked for a long time for a dark roux or less for a light roux)
In order of preference use Okra and light roux, Filé powder and roux, or just plain roux.
The darker the roux the deeper and more cajun the flavour.
Meat or shellfish
One or more of chicken, shellfish and smoked pork. In the UK its going to be easiest to go for some free range chicken legs or wings, king prawns and smoked bacon or spanish sausage.
1 - Get 2 whole chickens, remove legs and breasts and wings. Divide legs into thighs and drumsticks.
2 - Raw chicken carcass in stock pot with 2 carrots, 2 onions per chicken, bay leaf, peppercorns, simmer for 3 - 5 hours, get it strained and get it right
3 - Oil in LARGE pan, throw in 8 slices streaky bacon sliced into cubes and 400g cubed Chorizo - fry until golden, not black, remove from the pan
4 - Add 4 cajun/paprika seasoned chicken wings, thighs and drumsticks, fry until golden, remove
5 - Add flour to the fat - get the heat low - and make the roux - get it nice and dark - takes 10 - 15 mins or more - keep stirring
6 - Add holy trinity (peppers, onions and celery) to the roux, mix it up, fry til its golden
7 - Add garlic - stir for 1 min
8 - Add chopped tomatoes - stir for a bit
9 - Add carrots, potato, the meat and the chicken stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer
10 - Stick sliced okra (sharp knife, halved length ways) into a pan and fry with a lid til soft
11 - Get some rice in the rice cooker
12 - After 20 mins of simmering chicken, add the okra - simmer for another 30 - 40 mins
13 - Serve with cooked rice
Don’t burn the sausage, get the roux nice and dark, done.comments powered by Disqus