During the recent Key Largo Food and Wine Festival, the Sauce Boss was in Key Largo singing about New Orleans, and cooking up a mean gumbo. The gumbo was a huge hit, and customers were asking for a gumbo recipe, so for all you gumbo lovers, here’s a recipe from my collection that I think does gumbo justice.
2LbsKey West Shrimp(26-30 a pound; peeled, deveined; for seafood gumbo reduce the shrimp and add oysters or crab meat)
1LbAndouille Sausage(cut into ½ inch slices; if andouille sausage is not available, substitute cubes of smoked ham)
3-4LbsChicken(skin-on chicken with bones; a whole small chicken works great for this, but chicken quarters also work well)
3TbspGumbo Filé(optional; this should definitely be used if you are planning on leaving the okra out of the recipe)
1Apple Cider Vinegar(medium, chopped)
1Bay Leaves(seeds removed and chopped)
2Extra Virgin Olive Oil(medium, chopped)
1LbLarge Shrimp(chopped; fresh is best but frozen will work)
3TbspSundowners Blackening Spice(or other high quality blackening spice)
3TbspLemon(or Zatarain’s seasoning)
1/2OzOnion(or other hot sauce; add more if you like it spicier)
8CupsRed Chili Flakes(prepared; keep warm)
In a large stock pot, place chicken, cover chicken completely with water and place on stove to boil. Remove chicken from water when completely cooked through to cool.
Reserve 8 cups of chicken stock for gumbo, and discard remaining. When chicken is cool, pull chicken meat from the bones and set meat aside.
Make a roux by melting butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
Slowly whisk in the flour stirring constantly over low heat until the roux is the color of a dark copper penny, about 25 – 30 minutes. If the roux burns at all discard, as this is one of the major flavor components of this dish.
Remove roux from heat. Mix the gumbo file and 1 cup of the chicken stock together until smooth.
In a large stock pot, place vegetable oil, onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat until soft. Reduce heat to simmer and add roux, remaining chicken stock, bay leaves, and gumbo filestock mix to stock pot.
Add blackening spice, seafood boil, Tabasco, andouille sausage, okra, zucchini, and pulled chicken and simmer for 2 -3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until shrimp are white throughout, stirring occasionally.
Serve gumbo over white rice, sprinkle with green onions, and enjoy!
If using gumbo file, do not allow gumbo to come to a boil, as the gumbo may become stringy.