Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dinner Last Night - Gumbo!

Gumbo w/Chicken, Andouille, Okra & Shrimp

I know it's not really gumbo weather, but I can eat gumbo anytime!  I love gumbo!!  I'm so excited that we will be going to New Orleans again in July.  I love everything about New Orleans, especially the food!  There really isn't any good place to get gumbo here in LA, so the next best thing is making it at home.  I'm slowly getting better at making it too;o)  The first time I made it several years back I couldn't get the roux to get dark.  I read in one recipe that you need to cook it on low heat for about an hour and make sure to stir it all the time.  I cooked it for about 1 1/2 hours and the roux stayed a blondish color.  I called it my "White Gumbo" and it tasted pretty good, but just didn't have that nice rich flavor to it.  When I told someone that lives in LA, but was from NOLA about my gumbo they rolled their eyes and looked at me like I was an  I am much better at making gumbo now!   I still don't make it the traditional way, so I don't want anybody out there that is from New Orleans to roll their eyes at my gumbo because it's not authentic, I know it's not;o)

The Trinity...Celery, Onion & Bell Peppers

Fresh Okra

I usually just get frozen okra, but I couldn't find it at the store.  They had fresh okra instead!  What a nice surprise.  A lot of times when I find fresh okra it's too big and too woody and is the reason I get frozen.  This batch was the perfect size and texture!

Sauteing Trinity in Chicken Fat...

I started by seasoning the chicken parts from a whole chicken and then browned it.  For some reason all the chicken skin stuck to the bottom of the dutch oven.  I'm not sure what I did wrong because I do this all the time and usually don't have this problem.  I started with oil and then browned it.  The problem may have been that I didn't wait for the pan to get hot, but the second batch stuck too:o(  After taking the chicken out I added the trinity to it and that got all the nice flavors from the chicken and skin off the bottom! After everything was softened I set it aside.  It's seasoned with salt, pepper & some Creole Seasoning.  I just use the packaged Tony Chachere's seasoning. 

Sauteing Okra...

I like to saute the veggies first, so it gets the nice fond from the chicken parts.  I sauted the okra until it was softened and also set that aside.  I cleaned the dutch oven after that, so I'd have a nice clean pan for the roux.

After about 2 mins...

In Paul Prudhome's recipe he says to make the roux on high heat and be careful not to burn it or yourself because it's like liquid napalm.  I make mine on med-high heat now and make sure to constantly stir it.

After 6 mins...

Cooking it on med-high gets it cooking fast!  Nothing like that 1 1/2 hours I spent the first time I tried to make

Done at 12 mins...

I always wonder how people come up with certain recipes. Who would think to add equal parts flour & oil and then keep cooking it until it looks like it's  

Roux w/Trinity...

After the roux reaches the color I like, I turn off the heat and then add the veggies to it.  You need to be very careful at this stage because the roux starts bubbling and it also gets darker.  It's like you are deep frying the veggies!  I made sure to add just a little bit at a time and was careful about not adding any liquid in the beginning.

Roux, Chicken,  & Crab Stock

Even though I don't make a "seafood" gumbo I like to use seafood  I like the flavor that the crab stock and chicken make.  I had frozen crab stock on hand from the last time I made crab.  The only problem is that I always forget that the stock is a little salty since I salt the water to cook the crab in.  I just end up adding more water at the end of cooking to make it less salty. This time I didn't even put crab meat in the gumbo;o)

After the trinity cooked in the roux I slowly added the warm stock and put the heat back on.  I then add all the chicken parts and a bay leaf and let it cook for about 45 mins.  I then take out the breasts & thighs and leave the rest to flavor the gumbo and cook for another hour or so.  I took the breasts & thighs off the bone and put the bones back into the gumbo.  I add the okra the last 30 mins.

Andouille Sausage

I don't like the Andouille to overcook, so I brown it separately and then add it right before serving.  I also do the same with the shrimp.

Shredded Chicken

I add the chicken & okra at the same time...about the last 30 mins of cooking...  At that time I fish out the wings, drumsticks & bones from thigh and throw them out.


I just used frozen shrimp for this.  I make sure to get the type that still has the shell on and is uncooked!

Gumbo served with Long Grain Rice & topped with chopped green onions and I love Jalapenos with everything!  

My favorite Jalapeno!

I used to be able to get these at the grocery store around here, but not anymore for some reason.  Trappey's used to be based in Louisiana, but I think they had troubles after Katrina, so they may have sold the company to B&G.  I also love Trappey's Hot Sauce.  The story is that he used to work for Tabasco and stole some of the chile pepper plants and then started his own company.  

I mail order the jalapenos by the case now from My Brands.  I think I pay more for shipping than for the actual jalapenos, but so worth it for me!  They have a nice crunch to them where most pickled jalapenos are too mushy.


  1. Ohhhh looks so delicious!!! It looks like a lot of effort standing in the kitchen, but it's so worth at the end when you have this wonderful gumbo!!!! I never heard of frozen okra where do they sell that? I know for sure an Indian market always have okra (and they sell really cheap too!). And what a COOL napkin! It's white too! I will never give white napkin to my husband or my kids when we eat red food. LOL. I enjoyed reading your post Kayo-san. :-)

  2. Looks divine! I have such an affinity for okra, and like it cooked, in a salad. Gumbo... you are going to bring out the southern gal in me... love the dish!

  3. Hi Kay! I thot it's another Japanese Curry that you're cooking before reading your post.. hee... :P
    This really takes lots of time & patience but it's all worthwhile when you get a delish meal. :)
    BTW, till now I still don't understand how to make roux as in the amount of oil and flour.

  4. Really, really good even with the okra :)

  5. Oh I love New Orleans! It's one of my favorite cities to visit - I'm so jealous that you're going next month =)

    This gumbo looks absolutely amazing - I love that it's non-traditional, but true to you!

  6. Hi Nami, Thank you always for your sweet comments :o) I get frozen sliced okra at most grocery stores around my area. Frozen is great when I can't find fresh. It's kind of a pain for me to find an Indian store, I didn't even know they used Okra! I already drive about 45 mins to get to the Japanese market, so I don't want to drive too far to other The prep of the gumbo actually doesn't take too long, it's mostly the cooking time.

    Too funny about not using white napkins! I just make sure to use laundry spray and bleach if it is an all white napkin, mostly the pain is the ironing part;o)

  7. Thanks, Divine! Oooh, a southern girl...I love Southern Food! I've never had okra in salad, I will have to try it!

    Lyn, you are too funny, but yes, the color of gumbo is similar to Japanese curry! To make a roux is basically equal parts oil & flour. I used 1 1/2 cup oil and 1 3/4 cup flour. You mix the two together and just keep stirring it until you get the right color. If you don't stir it, it will burn and stick to the bottom and then you will have to start over...

  8. Cooking in Sens, thanks for the compliment! The okra gets pretty cooked in my gumbo, so you barely notice it;o) I like how it thickens it.

    Peggy, Thanks! I know, I can't wait for our trip to New Orleans, it will be hot and humid, but I know it will be fun :o)

  9. Hi Kay! Tks so much for your explanation! :D
    Think I'm having the Japanese Curry craze recently... LOL

  10. Great cajun dish-I am ready for a spoonful right now. I don't consider gumbo an easy dish to prepare but you sailed right through! Thanks for posting-too bad Fat Tuesday is so far away!Buzz

  11. Thanks so much, Tina! Yes, I'm finally able to make good gumbo, it was trial and

  12. Your Gumbo looks wonderful! I have never been tempted by gumbo - but this one actually caught my eye!

  13. This looks delish! I love gumbo but have never tried to make it before. Where did you get that Graffiti plate/bowl? LOVE IT!

  14. Thanks, Erin! Your comment really put a big smile on my face :o) Gumbo is really tasty if you can find a good one;o)

    Lindsey, once you get the hang of it, it's not too hard to make gumbo :o) Thanks for noticing our Graffiti Plates, I love them! We found them at this neat website and they have some other pretty unique stuff too...

  15. This looks wonderful I win make it