Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chicken gumbo

Rachel fell in love with chicken gumbo when she was an impressionable undergrad at Stern. The gumbo came from Mendy's and it was unparalleled, or so she remembers.

Unparalleled, you say? Sounds like a challenge. Let's make gumbo.

Gumbo starts with a red roux. Equal volumes of vegetable oil and white flour (1/3 cup each I believe) are cooked over medium heat.

After 10 or 15 minutes, it will develop into a deep reddish brown:

Next, dice onions, celery and green pepper (the Creole variation on the classic French mirepoix), and toss them into your ruddy roux. Add half a bag of frozen okra, and a 1 kg of chicken wings. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and thyme. If you use fresh thyme, tie up a bunch of sprigs with a few other sprigs twisted into a rope, like so:

Cover everything with water and bring to a boil:

We ate this for Shabbat, so once a boil was reached, the gumbo was transferred to a crock pot set on low:

Finally, chop up some beef chorizo sausage and throw it in. Beef chorizo is not the traditional gumbo sausage. That would be andouille sausage which, alas, is not available in Israel. And contains pork. Chorizo it is, then.

Cook on low for several hours. If you put up the gumbo by late morning, and have it on low until dinner, it will be perfect, I promise. Between the starch from the roux and the unctuous polysaccharides exuded from the okra, the gumbo will be thick, wonderfully flavorful, and deeply satisfying.

[One final note - the gumbo will still be tasty for Shabbat lunch, but not as good as Friday night. Some components break down and it isn't quite as thick.]