Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We’ve been spending this weekend with my cousin Raja and his wife Tina visiting from Dallas. In the middle of the night last night Raja declared we must make Gumbo for Sunday Funday! We had all been drinking and celebrating a huge family event. We were all a little delirious and tired from all the festivities.
Raja, I could tell, was very enthusiastic about showing Food Babe his cooking skills. Ever sense Raja’s arrival on Friday, he’s been in my kitchen playing with my Shun knives and contemplating what he could chop next. He diced left over lemon rind from a garnish earlier in the day. You can tell Raja loves the kitchen as much as Food Babe. Maybe this is because our mothers, who were both pregnant with us, took us on our first trip together to India before we were even born. We are only a few weeks apart in age, both born Aries, a raging fire sign and have more in common than we both like to admit.
Raja is from Louisiana and well, not the healthiest state in America and wanted to make traditional gumbo. We began to discuss what’s exactly is in gumbo….. he declared all sorts of Food Babe unfriendly ingredients like bleached white flour, inorganic oils, and pre-cooked conventional & nitrate filled sausage and was very hesitant, in fact, adamantly against changing the original recipe. I pleaded with him back and forth and finally he was convinced we could make this organic.
So here it is – Organic GOODIE GOODIE Gumbo!
- 1 cup of a high smoke point oil or butter (try grape seed oil for an alternative to canola)
- 1 cup of stone ground whole wheat flour
- 2 medium white or yellow onions chopped
- 2 green bell peppers chopped
- 1 bunch of celery chopped
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic chopped
- 2 cups of fresh okra chopped
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 pound fresh andouille sausage cooked well done and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 5 sprigs of rosemary
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 10 leaves sage
- 6 bay leaves
- (Use half the herbs to make a “bouquet garni” by tying them together using butcher twine)
- sea salt and pepper
- hot sauce – we used “Earth Fare” brand “Organic Hot Sauce”
- Making the Roux:
- Place large frying pan on medium-low heat (3)
- Add flour and oil to pan
- Stirring constantly (~45mins)
- Be careful, the roux can burn if unattended for more than ~2mins
- Meanwhile…Make the Stock and Chicken…
- Heat 6 quarts of water and 1 TBSP of sea salt in a large stock pots
- Rinse chicken, then salt and pepper on all sides
- Place whole chicken and half of herbs in pots
- Boil, then turn down to simmer and cover pots
- Cook until chicken is tender and falls off bone (~30-45mins)
- Once chicken is cooked, remove chicken and strain broth removing all herbs
- Shred chicken in a bowl and keep 8 cups stock remaining in pots
- Once roux has changed color to a deep brown, add trinity and garlic
- Stir until vegetables begin to soften (~ 4-7 mins)
- Add combined roux and vegetables to stock and stir until all roux is dissolved in broth
- Add chicken, okra, bouquet garni, cooked sausage to pot and bring to boils
- Reduce heat to simmer for 4-6 hours
- Enjoy over jasmine brown rice and add hot sauce to taste
It turned out fabulous! We ate so much, we were couch potatoes for the rest of the night! Thank you again Raja for showing a Carolina girl how to make real Louisiana style gumbo!