This recipe is from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook. We’ve added shrimp to this, but it’s also good without it. Or you can omit the chicken and use sausage and shrimp.
For a big crowd we double the recipe. One recipe makes about 3- 4 quarts. We enjoy it either with or without the traditional rice.
The most unusual part of this recipe is making the roux. You can purchase roux at some grocery stores or specialty shops. Making it is not difficult, but it is surprising. The first time I made it I was certain I made a mistake and threw it out! The real flavor of gumbo comes from the roux. It is a pungent flavor on its own, but combined with the seasonings and other ingredients it’s divine!
This gumbo has a lot of broth that is not thick. It is full of flavor and is a dark color. You can make your own homemade chicken stock or broth. Or you can use store bought chicken stock. Or you can make a stock using a concentrate like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Stock base. These store versions can be salty, so limit your added salt if you use these types.
If you have the shrimp shells, simmer them in about 2-3 cups of water or so for 30 minutes. Strain the shells through a fine mesh strainer. Use this as part of your 7 cups of stock
- 1 pound large shrimp with shells reserved
- 6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, plus another 1-2 teaspoons
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 7 cups chicken stock ( including 2 cups of shrimp shell stock)
- 1/2 pound andouille smoked sausage, cut into 1/4- 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Hot rice, optional
- Sliced green onion
- Tony Chachere’s Original Cajun Seasoning, optional
- Remove excess fat from chicken. Rub a generous amount of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne on both sides of each piece, making sure each piece is evenly covered. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine onion, green pepper and celery. Set aside.
- In a paper or plastic bag combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the chicken pieces and shake until the chicken is well coated. Reserve 1/2 cup of the seasoned flour.
- In a large heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil until very hot (375-400F). Fry the chicken until the crust is browned and the meat is cooked, about 5-8 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
- Carefully pour the hot oil into a glass measuring cup, leaving as many browned particles in the skillet as possible. Scrape the pan with a metal whisk to loosen any stuck particles. Return 1/2 cup of the hot oil to the skillet.
- Making the roux: Place the pan over high heat. BE VERY CAREFUL! This burns if it splashes on your skin! Using a long handled metal whisk gradually stir in the reserved 1/2 cup seasoned flour. Whisk constantly until the roux turns a dark red-brown to black color. This is where I thought I made a mistake! It isn’t though. Do this cooking with a fan in a well ventilated area. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the brown color.
- Remove from heat when you’ve reached the right dark chocolate brown color. Immediately add the vegetables, stirring constantly until the roux stops getting darker. Return pan to low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well. You may even use a metal spatula to do this scraping.
- Meanwhile place the stock in an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a boil. Add roux mixture by spoonfuls to the boiling stock, stirring until dissolved between each addition. Return to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan bottom often.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the garlic and andouille. Simmer uncovered about 45 minutes, stirring often toward the end of cooking. Add as an option 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder and cook another 30 minutes to mellow the flavor.
- While the gumbo is simmering, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. When the gumbo is cooked add the chicken. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.
- To serve ladle 1 1/4 cups gumbo into a large soup bowl. Then using a scoop or mold place a rounded 1/3 cup of cooked rice in the center of the gumbo. Garnish with sliced green onion and a sprinkling of a cayenne pepper seasoning mix like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.