California Style Gumbo
By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart
I first tried gumbo in New Orleans, and ever since, I have loved making it. If time allows, I will make it the day before so the flavors have a chance to develop. This recipe makes a large pot and is great for a group of eight to 10, but you can easily cut the ingredients in half for a smaller pot of gumbo.
Traditional versions have the rice cooked into them. All have okra, which gives the gumbo earthiness and a wonderful crunch. This version has a California twist, adding roasted garlic and serving it over cooked rice. Altogether, you get a bit of spice, deep, rich flavors, lots of wonderful veggies and delicious meats.
Ladle this wonderful gumbo over your choice of cooked brown, basmati or jasmine rice and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a dash of hot sauce.
Laissez les bons temps rouler – let the good times roll!
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
¹⁄³ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cut into ½-inch pieces
8 oz. andouille sausage, thinly sliced
1 tsp. gumbo file powder
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 whole roasted garlic, pressed out of all the cloves
1 large white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
15–20 okra pods, cut into ½-inch-long pieces, about 2 cups
16 oz. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce of choice, chopped parsley and green onions
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes – 1 hour 50 minutes
STEP 1: Heat the broth in a stock pot. Let it come to a simmer while preparing the roux.
STEP 2: In a skillet, make a dark roux by melting butter over a medium-low heat and then add the flour. Whisk this completely and then constantly stir until smooth and the roux develops a deep golden amber color – 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep stirring until cool. (The roux can brown quickly, so it’s important to stir continuously and if needed, reduce heat if it starts to brown too quickly.)
STEP 3: Next, slowly whisk in the roux mixture, a little at a time, allowing it to dissolve into the warmed broth and thicken a bit. Mix chicken and sausage into the broth mixture and return to a simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes and then add the seasonings, bay leaves, roasted garlic and vegetables and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. (Add water to thin the sauce, if needed. You want a thicker sauce, not a soupy sauce.)
STEP 4: Add okra and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
STEP 5: Lastly, add the shrimp and simmer until opaque, another 10 minutes.
STEP 6: Remove bay leaves, add salt and pepper if desired, and serve over cooked rice. Garnish with a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce, chopped parsley and green onions.