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I developed this recipe specifically with my childrens' palates in mind. As a child of a Louisiana native, I grew up with gumbo. We enjoyed so many varieties, but I remember as a child that sometimes they were "too hot", or there were "too many" ingredients in them for a child's palate. Andouille, shrimp, chicken and oysters in one soup may be OK for the adults, but it was simply too much for me and many of my cousins. This recipe serves as a good "base" for almost any gumbo. It is flavorful without a lot of heat, and can be adjusted in many ways.
- 3⁄4 cup cooking oil
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped green peppers
- 3 cups chopped celery
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 gallon chicken broth
- 6 -10 cups water
- 5 lbs skinless chicken thighs
- 1 1⁄2-2 lbs frozen okra, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup creole seasoning, recipezaar # 191938 (has no salt) or 3 tablespoons tony chachere's creole seasoning (has salt and is hotter)
- Prior to heating pot, chop all vegetables.
- To make the roux: Heat a large heavy bottomed stock pot over a medium high flame.
- Once hot, add the oil. Stir in the flour, reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly until the color of the flour/oil mixture is somewhere between the color of coffee with cream and black coffee. Do not allow this to scorch or burn- if this happens start process over.
- Once the roux is cooked to a deep color, add the onions, garlic, celery, peppers, salt and pepper. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth and 6 cups of the water, stir. If desired, us all broth for the liquid and no water.
- Stir in the Creole Seasoning. NOTE- the homemade Creole Seasoning has no salt. If you use a purchased product, such as Tony Chachere's, there is salt in most products. Please observe and adjust seasoning to accomodate these differences.
- Allow to cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Taste broth and add additional salt as desired. If gumbo appears too thick at any point in the cooking, add more water.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pot. The thighs may be boneless/skinless, or remove the skin from whole thighs. Thigh meat will remain moist.
- Allow the chicken to cook for about 45 minutes. Remove chicken pieces from stock. Place on plate to allow to cool.
- Once you have removed the chicken, add the sliced okra. Allow to cook in the broth for about 30 minutes.
- After the chicken has cooled for about 30 minutes, remove meat from the bones, and dice the cooked meat. Add to the pot.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. To add heat, you may use cayenne pepper. If you wish to season with salt and heat, Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning is a commonly used spice blend.
- Serve over cooked white rice- Uncle Ben's is most authentic.
- Recipe Notes: When storing leftovers, do not stir the rice into the gumbo. Keep rice and gumbo separate until ready to serve. If you add seafood to this gumbo, put it in at the very end of the cooking process- it only takes a few minutes for shrimp, crab, or oysters to cook. If you choose to add aliced andouille sausage or a couple hot links, put it in at the same time you add the okra.