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Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo Recipe

i thought it would be easier to put our favorite recipes here on my website... here's a new favorite. it's a bit tricky but if you're patient it might turn into a family favorite for you too.



Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo


1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
9 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups green onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 pounds, peeled fresh shrimp
4 (boneless, skinless) chicken breasts
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tbs file` powder



at the heart of any gumbo is a dark, silky roux. you'll need flour, oil and patience {lots of patience}. it will take from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your pot, oil and temperature. don't try to rush it--if it burns, simply THROW IT OUT and START AGAIN. it is NOT worth saving.

heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat; gradually whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is a dark mahogany color {roughly 30 minutes}.

first, i added in my 1 1/2 cups of oil {i did not use olive oil--just regular crisco oil}, i sprinkled in the flour and would blend it in evenly, then add some more flour, blend and so on. after all the flour had been added, i set my timer for 30 minutes so i would have a good idea of where i was in the whisking process. it's important NOT to burn your roux so i wanted to be on top of it at all times.

in the beginning, your roux will have a blonde look. with your heat set to a medium level, simply continue to whisk at an easy pace. it will gradually begin to boil {like above} so just keep an eye on it...


10 minutes in... nice bubbly going on, but with the continued stirring you're not in danger of burning it, just don't walk away...


20 minutes in...notice the shift in color...


30 minutes in... continue stirring... don't leave it for a second, we're getting there...


40 minutes's ready! at this part you're going to smell that wonderful oaky, nutty flavor.


SIDE NOTE: at this point you're going to add in your chicken broth but be careful! with the severe temperature of your finished roux, the steam will be dangerous. so gently pour in the broth and stir, stir and stir some more. keep on top of it, it desperately wants to get away from you.


i've poured in all the broth, and added the next 6 ingredients: onions, green onions, celery, garlic, rotel and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours.


SIDE NOTE: if you have the time, you can let it simmer for an additional hour, making a total of three hours, but i didn't feel it was necessary. it's totally up to you.


while the gumbo is simmering, i turned on my iPhone and put on some Pandora {set it to Rachael Platten Radio} and listened with glee while i cut up my 4 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, washed and then set aside...


and peeled my shrimp and cut into halves and set aside with the chicken {sorry for the blurry photo, it began to get pretty dark as i made this in the late afternoon}.


after a full hour of simmering, everything seems to be going along nicely. i noticed a lot of grease at the top of my gumbo so i spooned it out into a separate bowl. in the process, some of the veggies came with it so i put them through a strainer {i did not rinse them off} and put them right back into the pot, allowing them to continue cooking.


after removing all the grease the end result looked this point i added the chicken so it could cook for a full hour, giving it a nice tenderness {which it did, the chicken melted in our mouths}.


again with the annoying, blurry photo. my apologies. next time i won't be cooking at 5:30 in the evening. ha. anyway, i cooked the rice and set it aside, letting it cool down. oh, we used regular long-grain rice from Mahatma {that i got for .79 cents after my $1 off coupon}.

after the rice had been cooking for about fifteen minutes i added the shrimp to the pot. let it take on a nice pinky color so you know it's cooked all the way through.


after the chicken and rice had both cooked i gave it a good stir {i was so excited, i could hardly stand it!}... we were ready to eat! thank goodness!


spoon in your rice, pour gumbo on and top it off with some parsley.

this was absolutely divine. i cannot even tell you. it's a nice, mild gumbo, and we added creole seasoning to our own bowls. some like it hotter than others. :)


we bought a lovely italian bread from our deli section and i lightly toasted it. some added butter and some dipped in their gumbo... no matter how you like it, it's simply heaven.

the table-talk was so much fun, too. everyone was chatting and giggling about how good it was, passing bread back and forth and enjoying every. single. bite.  there was no greater compliment, and all the kids told me how fabulous it was and could we have it again tomorrow.... absolutely! there's tons left!


jeff and i polished off three of these babies. we're not big drinkers -- by any means -- but it was grand to have a cold Mike's with our gumbo. the kids had Orange Crush in the bottle. there's something that makes soda better when it's in a glass bottle.


and everyone cheered hooray! it was a success! it was a fabulous day in the kitchen, if i do say so myself!


the recipe came from Southern Living, originally having crab meat in it. our kids didn't want crab so we substituted chicken, jeff thinks sausage would be great too. so we might try that next time.

all in all, i learned a little about the roux process, needing to take my time with it and not panic. it was a fun learning experience and even though i'm not an everyday cook, trying these recipes from time to time makes me more confident in the kitchen. :) i hope you enjoy it! if you try it, please let me know if you liked it as much as we do!

-laurie eller

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