1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3/4 cup of canola or peanut oil
1 cup of plain flour
4 quarts of chicken stock (plus additional water if needed)
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tablespoon of fresh or dried thyme
2+ tablespoons of Tony Chachere’s seasoning, to taste
1/2 pound or 4 cups of fresh or frozen okra, chopped
1 lb chicken meat, cooked and deboned
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced thin
4-6 cups of cooked white rice
chopped parsley and green onion tops for garnish
ground file’ (if desired)
Start off by prepping the “Trinity” vegetables (onion, celery and bell pepper) by chopping them, then set aside with the onion separate.
To a cast iron skillet warming up on med-high heat, add the oil and then the flour, blending well to make a roux.
Continue stirring constantly on medium to medium-high heat with a metal spatula or wire whisk for about 15-20 minutes as the roux turns color from white to tan, then to a peanut butter color, and then a medium to dark brown color like melted chocolate.
Note: Make sure to scrape the entire base of the skillet as you go along and never stop stirring for any longer than about 5-10 seconds or it will scorch and be fit for nothing more than the garbage can.)
(SHHHH this is a secret technique)
At this point add the onions first and cook for at least 5 minutes until they start to caramelize in the roux (which will turn it even darker), then add the celery, bell pepper, garlic and thyme to the hot roux, stir and cook on low heat for about 5 more minutes. Be sure to have a bottle of drinking water and a towel for your forehead nearby…it’s like working over napalm 😛
Transfer the cooked roux mixture to a large stockpot and add the chicken stock over high heat (plus extra water later if needed to cover the remaining ingredients) along with the chicken, sausage and Tony’s seasoning. While allowing the assembled gumbo to come to a boil, fry the bare okra in a few tablespoons of oil for a couple minutes and then add to the pot (or if desired, breaded okra can be substituted and served on the side).
Once brought to a boil, lower heat to med-low and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot over a bed of rice with green onions and parsley garnish, plus ground sassafras leaves (file’) can be added for even more authentic Cajun flavor.
This recipe is the real deal and I have yet to taste a restaurant gumbo better.