Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo

She Who Must Be Obeyed loves gumbo to the point of addiction, and this version is her favourite.

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup clarified butter
5 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 celery stalks, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 jalapeno, minced fine
1 red pepper, minced
1 medium sized onion, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, boiled and skinned, cut into 1/4 inch rounds (see*** note at bottom of page)
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tsp dried sage leaves
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 lb fresh okra, cleaned and sliced across into 1/2" rounds (this can be optional)
1 lb medium shrimp, shelled & deveined

Brown chicken and sausage over medium-high heat. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large heavy bottom pot melt butter over med-low heat. Gradually stir in flour, and cook, stirring with a whisk, until mixture is dark brown, about 10 minutes.  Be very careful that you do not burn this.  The roux should be a deep mahogany colour to a chocolate brown. If it burns it goes mottled and black, not very tasty at all! How do I know this? Let’s just say, I have an awareness of what it smells and looks like when burnt.

Add celery, garlic, red pepper, jalapeno and onion and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth to the vegetable/roux mixture, stirring well as you do. Bring to a boil then turn down heat to simmer. Add the herbs, salt, and black pepper, cook for 10 minutes.

Spoon the cooked sausage and chicken into the simmering sauce and simmer over low heat. Stirring occasionally.

Add okra (if using, but please use it!!!!) to sauce, simmer for 10 minutes.

5 minutes before serving add the shrimp and simmer until shrimp are fully cooked (3-5 minutes depending on the size), serve over your favourite steamed rice.

I always thought gumbo was exclusive to the Cajun area of the US, but after reading up on it, and eating some in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi it seems it is a staple in regions outside of the bayou, but the Cajuns made it their own.  My version is just one of countless versions prepared in kitchens across the US and in most instances the cook will assert that theirs is the true and authentic version.  I make no such claim, other than to say this version is fantastic (the best really), so make a pot today.  The recipe will feed eight hungry adults when served with rice.

Many versions of gumbo include oysters in the recipe, mine does not, however if you like oysters feel free to toss a few into your gumbo as well.  Be daring and adventurous.

*** In this recipe I normally use hot Italian sausage in lieu of the traditional Andouille sausage, but living far from Louisiana, Andouille can be tougher to find than intelligent debate at an NDP convention. Okay, it is easier to find than that, I digress...

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