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.