Let’s Make A Gumbo

I have finally succeeded in making a roux. Yay! Now I can show you how to make it and then we can make a gumbo (the real thing, I’m from South Louisiana).

To make a roux:

(skip this part if you can buy roux in your area.)

Use equal parts flour and oil. I used 1.5 cup flour to 1.5 cup vegetable oil. Whisk it together and put it on a medium-low flame.
This will take about 45 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture about every 15 seconds. You can cook it faster on a higher flame, but make sure it does not get to the smoke point. If your roux is smoking, it is burnt. Ultimately you want it to be the color of chocolate. You have to turn off the flame just before it gets to that color because the mixture keeps cooking. Here are the various shades of roux as it cooks. I used a jar of store bought roux to compare the color.

Notice I took it off the stove before it got to the desired color. Keep stirring for another 5 minutes. Don’t burn yourself. They call it Cajun Napalm for a reason.

Here it is now. Just right.

Now for the gumbo:

Transfer roux to a 2 gallon stockpot or cauldron.

Add about 1/2 gallon of hot water to the roux. Whisk. (for store bought roux, add 12 oz of it to cold water.)

It will look like this, don’t worry.

It will come together when it boils. In the meantime, keep stirring until it becomes a suspension or your roux will fall to the bottom of the mixture and burn.

Once it comes to a boil, add another 1.5 gallons of hot water.
Season with a Cajun spice mix. I use Tony Chachere’s, enough to where it tastes barely salted. At this point it is very dilute.

Put the fire on medium and boil.

Gather up, chop, and saute:

1 onion, 1 bellpepper, 2 stalks celery, two cloves of garlic. The onion tops are for garnish later.

Throw that in the stockpot and boil down for about an hour and a half. You’ll notice the gumbo has boiled down just enough to add one chicken.

Brown chicken pieces before adding to the gumbo. Add two links of sliced smoked sausage. Boil on medium for about 45 minutes. Add chopped onion tops.

Serve over cooked white rice. If you can buy file (pronounced fee-lay) which is ground sassafras leaves, sprinkle some of that on your bowl of gumbo.

Ca C’est bon.

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22 thoughts on “Let’s Make A Gumbo

  1. Great pics, and looks delish.

    You lost me at “this will take about 45 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture about every 15 seconds” – that is a hella lot of work, girl! Think I’ll eat yours.

  2. Hi
    Thanks for stopping by my Small Reflections Blog today and leaving your encouraging words. I read your post about “The Grinch & Holidailies” and figured I’d be back for more whenever possible. The gumbo directions and photos look yummy, but methinks I’ll dine out 🙂

    I’m also doing Holidailies at my other Blog, Sacred Ruminations and hope you’ll visit me there too.
    Hugs and blessings.

  3. Sounds and looks a very tasty treat indeed, but is there a day long enough to make that??? Talking of food, Klaus and I had a trip down to Ikea today and had a late lunch at TGI Friday. I will go as far as I need to for those onion rings. They’ve let me down, so cruelly. No longer do they make their own incredible, wonderous onion rings. 6 months ago they changed them. They buy them in. Regular onion rings, with a sprinkeling of spice, and they call them cajun onion rings. The waitress said a lot of people have commented on the change for the worse. She came back later and said she had told her manager, but sadly, this is the future. Kitty, you know how I loved those onion rings. What is there to look forward to now??? If anyone out there knows how to make them just like TGI Friday used to, PLEASE let me know!!!!

  4. Here is something my nephew Capone wrote in an email today:

    “No wonder you had such a hard time making that roux, you were doing it
    the long and weird way. Here’s my take on it and how I ended up making
    my first roux. You use three or four heaping spoons of the jar stuff
    when you make a gumbo. So that’s what you need to make. So I started
    with a touch of oil and three overflowing spoons of flour. The jar when
    used right looks like wet sand. So that was then next thing I watched
    for. I just browned the flour stirring constantly, adding a drizzle of
    oil until it got nearly the same. A few minutes before it was done I
    added that last spoon of flour just to make sure I made enough. Bingo.
    25 minutes and I was done.”

  5. Boz and Michele, I made the roux the slowpoke way, the way a first timer does it.
    I also use twice the amount most people use. We like our gumbo thick and then I make a big pot of it, enough to freeze for later.

    Thanks Voodoo and afr, you know this stuff, too. : )

    Penguin, don’t say fried chicken and gumbo in the same sentence you will drop dead of coronary artery disease.

    Storyteller, I will have to go check out your other blog as well, thanks for telling me about it, and thanks for stopping by here.

    Frodo, I met him, we both grew up in the same city. His sister Enola was the cook at my nursing school and she later went on to become a famous cook. Some of his relatives are married to some of my relatives.

    And Capone. Thanks for the email, dude. I’ll try your method next time.

  6. Liv I forgot about your onion ring comment. I have a good recipe for them you could try.
    I’ll look for it and sent it your way.
    That sucks about Friday’s, I know that was a special treat for you.

  7. Actually, I was kidding, gumbo isn’t unhealthy. The sausage I put in there makes it a bit dangerous.

    My husband swears it is good for his skin. He told me today that his face clears up the day after he eats the stuff.

  8. Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!

  9. I made my gumbo last night. The roux (equal parts oil and flour) cooked and looked perfect on the first try. I slow cooked things overnight and this morning it seems a bit oily. Is that normal?

  10. It got good reviews from the crew I work with. I wound up throwing in two cups of rice at 8 8 a.m. and left the slow cooker on warm until lunch time. The rice must have soaked up the oil. Next time I’ll skim as you suggested.

  11. I do something a little odd to my roux which works great and makes the house smell heavenly. I do the fast, high heat method in a small sauce pan stirring constantly. I have my onions diced before I start it. When the roux reaches that magically chocolate color I quickly toss in the onions, stir to coat and off the heat. It takes less than 10 minutes this way and the cool onions keep the roux from burning not to mention creating a truly intoxicating aroma. Keep your windows and doors closed unless you want the whole block sniffing around!

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