2 minute read

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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