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Cajun Gumbo

When I saw October 12 was National Gumbo Day I realized I needed to get my parent’s Gumbo recipe up on the stie for the occasion. Gumbo is a classic Cajun or Creole stew made with shrimp or chicken and okra.

Cajun Gumbo. Simple Cajun stew with chicken and or shrimp and okra in a thick gravy like base.

Cajun Gumbo uses a roux, while Creole uses file (pronounced fee-lay) powder as a thickener and also tomatoes. This recipe is Cajun. If you have been to the site before, or know my family’s history, you would assume this recipe would be one of my brother’s the former New Orleans chef. But no, this one is our parent’s creation.

This was one of the original recipes on Ma’am’s old site and here’s her original introduction

Traditional Cajun Gumbo and other dishes are prepared with a roux made of flour carefully browned in butter.  Even seasoned (sorry!) Cajun cooks can be baffled at times when making a roux. Plus, the butter adds unwanted fat to dishes.  We’ve borrowed the browned flour substitute from Paul Prudhomme’s Fork in the Road cookbook and TV series.

She wrote that years ago and I had this post written early last week, but I had to come edit it when news came of Chef Prudhomme’s passing on Thursday October 8. He has definitely been an influence to my family’s cooking both through his cookbooks and his television shows. I know Dad used to make Blackened Steak with his Blackened Steak Magic. I even have a small amount of his Pizza and Pasta Magic Spice Blend left in the pantry right now. RIP K Paul!

Prudhomme’s browned flour recipe begins by literally browning the dry flour in a skillet to a nice toasty brown color before beginning. It takes about 10 minutes to do it properly (low and slow!) but it takes a lot of the guess work out of making the dark roux you need for Gumbo. Once that is done, you just sweat down the Holy Trinity (celery, onions and bell peppers) and chicken, if using, in another pot then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Easy Peasy!

The only caution Ma’am has for this recipe is to constantly monitor the heat when browning the flour and vegetables. When in doubt, turn the heat down a little and cook a bit longer.

This recipe is a little on the mild side as Cajun recipes go for a reason. Dad didn’t like spicy foods. So we would make things mild and then add our own hot sauce and file at the end to suit our own tastes.

Cajun Gumbo

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Meat Dishes, Meatless Main Dishes, Poultry, Seafood, Soup
Cajun Gumbo. Simple Cajun stew with chicken and/or shrimp and okra in a thick gravy like base.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1lb chicken breasts and/or thighs cut in ½ inch
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (chopped)
  • black and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worstershire sauce
  • 1lb fresh or frozen okra (cut into 1/2 inch rings)
  • 4 cups cooked rice or penne pasta
  • hot sauce and file powder (for serving)

Directions

Use medium heat and a dry, small skillet. Brown flour stirring constantly with a fork until medium brown, about the color of walnut shells. Watch carefully, to prevent burning. If it does burn, throw it out and begin again with fresh flour.

Heat a deep cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Test the temperature of the pan by lightly gently tapping the top edge of the pan with the tip of your index finger. Heat the oil in the hot pan until it begins to sizzle and turn heat down to medium. Add the chicken cubes or shrimp, vegetables, garlic, herbs and pepper and stir until lightly browned.
Add the browned flour and stir until all ingredients are evenly coated with the flour. Reduce the burner temperature as required to keep from burning ingredients.
Add the chicken broth and Worchester sauce; turn the burner heat up to medium-high and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked. Add okra and cook until it is done to your liking. Frozen okra requires less cooking time.
Correct the seasoning. Add salt if needed.
Serve over cooked rice or pasta with bread on the side. Place a bottles of hot sauce file' on the table so diners can add to suit their tastes--mild, medium hot or native Cajun Wow!

Until next time, happy eating.
~Audrey

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  1. Elaine Hodges

    Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party.
    Elaine Hodges recently posted…Essential Oils for Tired Achy FeetMy Profile

  2. Anne

    I love gumbo, thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link party

  3. Anne

    Now i know what the difference is between Gumbo and Creole. I love them both! Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party!
    Anne recently posted…Healthy Living Link Party No. 33My Profile

  4. Jamie

    Looks delicious…AND easy to make – my favorite!! Pinned it to try one night! #HomeMattersParty
    Jamie recently posted…Let There Be Light! (USB Wine Bottle LED Light Cork)My Profile

  5. Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden

    I have never tried Gumbo before -it sounds and looks delicious! It’s great co-hosting with you at the #HomeMattersParty
    Vickie @Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #59My Profile

  6. Melissa Vera

    I have never tried gumbo before this looks absolutely yummy. Can’t wait to make it for my family.Thanks for being an awesome cohost on #HomeMattersParty
    Melissa Vera recently posted…Great Pumpkin Fest Ticket GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Chelsea @ The Johnsons Plus Dog

    This sounds really good!! Thanks for sharing. #HomeMattersParty
    Chelsea @ The Johnsons Plus Dog recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #59My Profile

  8. Denise

    Who knew there was a gumbo day! Looks delicious. We’re enjoying co-hosting the Home Matters Party with you! #HomeMattersParty
    Denise recently posted…Moving Day ChicagoMy Profile

  9. Easy Peasy Life Matters

    What a run recipe! We have been looking for ways to use up our okra so this is great. Thanks so much for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party 🙂
    Easy Peasy Life Matters recently posted…Baked Chicken Sandwich with Poppyseed Honey Mustard SauceMy Profile

  10. Alayna @AlaynasCreations

    What a great family recipe. I’m not a patient cook, so I’m not sure I’d get the rou right. LOL
    It’s been another fun weekend co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty
    Alayna @AlaynasCreations recently posted…Cupcake Wars Birthday PartyMy Profile

  11. Sahana

    Ha!! I love Okra 🙂 This is the first time I am seeing a recipe calling for okra. Sounds interesting, Audrey. Thanks for sharing with us. #HomeMattersParty
    Sahana recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #59My Profile

    1. Audrey

      It is a Southern staple, particularly in Louisiana.

  12. Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

    Oh yeah, I will be trying this recipe! It looks delicious. I had know idea what the difference between Cajun and Creole was. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and co-hosting at the #HomeMattersParty – we appreciate you! 🙂

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai
    Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai recently posted…Soup Recipe – Cheesy Potato Soup PLUSMy Profile

    1. Audrey

      Baby brother was a chef in New Orleans and he explained the difference between the two. Truthfully I still look it up every time I post a recipe, ha ha.

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