Happy Fat Tuesday!
I know, I know--we live in Idaho. But, I absolutely love anything and everything Mardi Gras. It all started when I moved to Southeast Texas in 2009. I caught on quickly to the Zydeco music and spicy food. It seemed like everyone's favorite dish was gumbo, and for a good reason! One bite and I was hooked. So, I made it my mission to learn how to make gumbo before we moved out of Texas.
Before I share the recipe, I want to make it clear that it's not my recipe. The recipe is from a Cajun chef, who passed it along to my friend, who passed it along to me. And, it is DELICIOUS. It's won me the title of two-time gumbo cook-off champion. But that's not saying much because the cook-off was only between two people--me and my boss! He's a real Texan, accent and all.
So, the year I moved here he challenged me to our first gumbo cook-off. We presented our finest pots of gumbo to the staff; he even brought in judges from New Orleans! I won. The following year he brought in new judges. I won again. So this year we're taking it up a notch and holding the cook-off on live TV! Gulp. Wish me luck!
When the roux reaches a dark brown color, throw in half the veggies and stir for two minutes. Then, throw in the rest of the veggies. You may need to reduce the heat to keep from burning. Now, add the season mix and garlic to the roux and stir it all together. In a separate pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Now, add your roux mixture to the broth, one spoonful at a time. Once it's combined, add your meat. I brown the sausage before I add it and throw the chicken in raw. Bring the gumbo to a boil and let it simmer for an hour or two. Season with salt to taste.
Serve the gumbo over white rice. I like to add butter, salt and crushed red pepper to the rice while it cooks. To me, the spicier the better!
I'll leave you guys with the same advice my friend who gave me the recipe did--good luck and don't burn yourself!