Gumbo is one of those dishes I get a craving for about once a year but when that craving comes it’s intense. So here is my simple and comforting take on the classic cajun dish.
1/2 cup grape seed oil
6 Chicken Thighs (Quartered)
4 Strips Smoked Bacon* (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
2 stocks Celery (Cut very thin)
4 Jalapeño peppers (deseeded and cored, diced)
3 cloves Garlic (smashed/whole)
8 pods Okra (cut cross wise)
8 San Marzano Tomatoes (Canned hand crushed)
4 sprigs Thyme
Creole Seasoning (to taste)
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
1 Cup Flour
In an oiled dutch oven, on medium heat, add you chicken and cook until nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer into a receptacle of some type. Then add your bacon and cook until that is browned,. When that is browned remove that from the pot into the same receptacle as the chicken. Add the rest of your oil to the liquid in the pot which should be brought down to medium/low heat. Slowly whisk your all purpose flour into the oil to create a roux. The roux acts as a thickening a colouring agent for the gumbo. You will want to cook the roux for about 8 minutes. The roux will turn from white to a almost reddish brown colour. When the roux is dark enough add your onion, celery and pepper you want to sweat that mixture down. You may need to add some chicken stock because the veggies may soak up most of the oil, you can also add your herbs and spices at this point. When those veggies have sweated add your smashed garlic cloves, okra and your hand crushed tomatoes. Bring the gumbo up to a boil and reduce any excess moisture from the tomatoes. In a preheated oven, to 250, slide in your covered dutch oven into the oven.** Heat for 2 hours and it’s ready to eat if you are impatient. This will get better if you leave it over night and then reheat it, the flavours will deepen in a big big way. Enjoy!
*From the fine people at The Butcher Of Kingsville.
**I’m sure there was a better way to word this but I love that I was able to use the word oven three times in a sentence.