I recently became allergic to shrimp, so when I saw this gumbo recipe (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/09/chicken-and-okra-gumbo.html) that used chicken, it immediately caught my eye. Its a great recipe, written as is. I made some modifications, which involved changing the order in which I proceeded, upping the spice level, eliminating the beer, substituting sausage for chicken and adding bay leaf, fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Also, I reduced the amount of flour in the roux because I found the soup to gummy otherwise. The result were delicious!
1 1/2 pounds italian sausage (you can substitute this with skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces or use a combination of sausage and chicken)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
3 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
3 medium sized tomatoes, coarsely pureed in the food processor
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 tablespoon cajun seasoning
4-6 cups chicken broth (I use Better than Bullion and water)
8 ounces fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 bay leafs
1/2 cup cilantro or parsley, mined
4 green onions, chopped
For the roux:
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Optional: 4 to 6 cups cooked rice to serve on the side hot sauce
1. Add 1 tsp of oil to a dutch oven or other large pan with a tight fitting lid. When hot, add the sausage and cook through. Remove the sausage from the dutch oven and set aside. If you are using chicken, add a little more oil and brown the chicken on both sides and remove from the dutch oven.
2. While the sausage is cooking, chop the onions, peppers, and celery and garlic and puree the tomatoes in food processor. The original recipe suggests you chop it together, but I do this separately for each vegetable.
3. Add the remaining oil to the Dutch oven and heat until shimmering. Add chopped onions, season with salt, and sauté until translucent.
4. Add the celery and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, then add the peppers and sauté until vegetables have softened and are beginning to turn golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
5. While the vegetables are cooking, make the roux: First, melt the butter in the microwave (about 30-60 seconds. Mix the flour into the butter till it is completely dissolved. Place flour and butter in microwave-safe dish. Continue to microwave, stirring every minute, until roux is a peanut butter brown. This takes anywhere between 4 -10 min, so check continuously so that it does not burn. The roux and the dish will be very hot, so be careful.
6. When vegetables have cooked, add the tomatoes and okra to the dutch oven, stir in tomato paste, better than bullion (if using), bay leaf and cajun seasoning black pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Stir in roux (the roux can sputter, so keep the flame low).
8. Slowly stir in water (if using Better than bullion) or chicken broth until mixture has thickened. Cover and simmer until okra is very soft and chicken(if using) is tender, about 20 minutes.
9. Season to taste, and add the scallions and cilantro (or parsley).
10. Serve with rice, season with hot sauce if desired.