Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 11 Aug 2011

Yeah, so, I’m supposed to be posting about my car. Some things are far, far more important. One of those things is gumbo.

Earlier this week I picked up a bunch of okra, my plan being to make bindi of some variety. Instead I got distracted as often is the case around here. Okra has a fairly short fridge life so on my walk to work today I vowed to cook something with it this evening. The something on which I decided was gumbo.

I’d never made gumbo before today. Sure, I’d eaten it out and about before but make it at home? Why bother? I mean, it’s good but it’s not that good. And roux? A royal pain in the butt. Who would do that?

Dear Lovers of Gumbo: I get it now. I apologize.

I didn’t follow a recipe so much as be very vaguely inspired by one. That recipe is here{.broken_link}. It was located through a very open-ended web search for “gumbo” and selected because it was by a man with a well-respected restaurant in Louisiana rather than by Paula Deen. I’m sure she’s a very kind woman but Emeril has much more gumbo cred.

This was a weekday evening gumbo, which means it took only two hours to assemble/cook as compared with the four hours stated on the recipe. How I diverged:

  • I used boneless/skinless chicken thighs and legs, cut into pieces of approximately one inch. There was no need to brown, remove, cook, remove bones, add back. However I did use homemade roasted chicken stock, which more than made up for the body lost by not using bone-in chicken thighs.
  • I also didn’t bother with that whole “Bayou Blast” stuff. I salted the chicken bits before cooking them but that’s about it. No complaints here…
  • Where the recipe states: “Add the reserved sausage…” I also added the chunks of chicken thighs.
  • Then I cooked the lot for only about half an hour, added in a few cups of sliced fresh okra and simmered for another half an hour or so.
  • No filé was used. Okra stood in for it.
  • I added about two cups of small, raw, thawed shrimp in the last ten minutes of cooking, just because I could. You got a problem with that?
  • Also: no parsley at all (seemed too distracting a flavor) and the green onions ended up as a (very, very good garnish) at the end.

Hooo-leee crap but this was tasty. It was served over white rice with a bottle of hot sauce (Tapatio since I’m out of Tabasco) on the side to doctor up each spoonful. Serve with a good cold beer{.broken_link} and you’ve found your happy place. I know I did.

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