Is it a soup? Is it a stew? Should it be made with a roux? Does it have okra? The gumbo debate rages on, but I can tell you this much: This gumbo recipe is a rich, soul-warming broth punctuated by succulent shrimp, juicy chunks of chicken, spicy andouille, and crisp-tender okra. Years ago, my husband and I frequented a local restaurant just to order their gumbo, which was soul-nourishing with amazing flavor. They went out of business long ago and since then I’ve spent countless hours trying to replicate their dish. According to my husband, my version eclipses theirs. I’m not sure he’s being completely honest, but regardless, it’s a dish you’ll want to cozy up with and savor. Serve with crusty bread.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small bell peppers (preferably red and green), cored, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. andouille sausage, cut lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
8 cups good-quality chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
8 oz. chopped cooked chicken
10 oz. package frozen sliced okra, thawed and drained
8 oz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Slowly add the flour, whisking until blended. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking almost constantly, until the roux is a mahogany brown color, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in the roux until well blended.
Add the stock, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add the chicken and okra and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Sprinkle the shrimp with the paprika. Heat 1 Tbs.of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until no longer translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Lade the gumbo into serving bowls. Top each a few shrimp and sprinkle with parsley.
Keywords: gumbo recipe, shrimp gumbo