Ready, set… GUMBO!

So, I decided I was in the mood for some gumbo and therefore, I poked around in the fridge and freezer to see what I had on-hand to make some up.  I found some frozen venison, chicken, and a couple links of kielbasa.  This had the makings of some good chow.  I am not going to say that it is the ultimate gumbo, as I am not from Louisiana and saying you are making the ultimate gumbo is a totally bold statement.  However, I will say it is very tasty.

Gumbo = Yummy

Now, before I get into the recipe, I want to talk to you about something very personal…  Roux.

How you prepare your roux dictates the rest of your gumbo.  Do you use butter or oil as the fat?  What kind of flour?  How dark do you make it?

Today I opted to try something new.  I used a 50/50 mix of olive oil and chipotle infused olive oil as the fat and all-purpose flour.  I opted to cook it for about 30 minutes so it is was a nice, dark brown.  This made for a fantastic base for the rest of the gumbo and gave it a fantastic, smoky chipotle heat.

Okay people, we’re going to rock some gumbo.  Just to let you know, the following are just guidelines, feel free to use different meats, different veggies, whatever.  This isn’t “spicy”, but it does have that smoky chipotle flavor.  I can’t go too spicy in this house due to the girls not liking it too hot.

Let’s go shopping or dig around in the freezer and find the following Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Chipotle Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Medium Onions, chopped (just over 1 cup)
  • Several stalks of celery, chopped (just over 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 2 quarts of chicken and/or vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb venison, cubed
  • 1 lb kielbasa, beef smoked sausage or andouille sausage, in 1/2″ slices
  • Handful of Basil leaves, torn up (yes, you heard me right)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • White Rice
  • Gumbo Filé

Let’s hit it. 

  1. In a saucepan, or in your rice cooker, cook up enough white rice for the crew that’s going to be eating. It can simmer while you’re doing the other stuff.
  2. Put the olive oil in a heavy pot and heat it up over medium flame.  When it gets hot, whisk in the flour and lower the heat a touch.  Cook that for 15 – 30 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture browns and gets a nutty aroma.  When it gets to the point you like it, dump in the veggies and cook the mixture for around 4 minutes until they start to soften (don’t forget to keep an eye on that rice)
  3. Pour in the stock, toss in the bay leaves, and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook for about 15 minutes or so until it starts to thicken a bit.
  4. While that is cooking, toss the chicken and venison into a skillet with some olive oil and cook it most of the way through.  You can throw on some salt and pepper as well.  When that is ready to go, throw it into the pot with the sausage and toss in the basil.  Let the flavors settle together for a few minutes and taste the broth.  Add in some Worcestershire and salt/pepper to taste and cook everything for a little bit (15 minutes or so), it should thicken up nicely.
  5. Fish out the bay leaves and serve the gumbo over rice and sprinkle on a bit of the gumbo file’…  Enjoy.

This recipe makes about 6 main-course servings and took just about an hour and a half to cook up…

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