Dan has been making and perfecting his World Famous Gumbo recipe for years now. I don’t even remember when he first started to love Gumbo, but I do know that once he set his mind to it, he created the most amazing Gumbo ever. It may have been because we honeymooned in New Orleans that he got his first taste of gumbo.
One thing I can tell you about his gumbo is that years ago he realized he could make it vegetarian so that I could enjoy it as well. So now he makes the base vegetarian and he might add in the chicken and Andouille later. Or, we may just serve it as a vegetarian main dish, and let any guests add in their own meaty (or non-meaty) ingredients.
Last time he made his Gumbo was at our New Year’s eve party. He Brined and Roasted Chicken, which we put in a separate chafing dish so that people could add the chicken to their gumbo, or they could eat the chicken plain. We made smoky shrimp, and again placed them in a chafing dish. The sausage was also placed in a separate dish. I’ll post the recipes and methods for the chicken and the shrimp separately.
One thing I really like about this vegetarian method is that you can add in your favorite sausage. I like the vegetarian tofurkey Kielbasa ones. And, I try to get pork Andouille sausage for Dan and the meat eaters in the house. Sometimes I have a hard time finding the pork ones, in which case I’ll get chicken Andouille, but it isn’t quite as good as the pork one (from what I hear), but will do in a pinch. This way everyone is happy!
Here’s what we serve for the mix-ins (again, I’ll post the chicken and shrimp soon):
- 1 package (12 oz.) Andouille sausage, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
- 1 package veggie links, Tofurkey Kielbasa is my favorite
- 1.5 – 2 pounds of chicken bone-in thighs, cooked and shredded
- 2 – 2.5 lbs boneless skinless breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
- 2 pounds of jumbo shrimp
- 2 ½ quarts vegetable broth or 2 ½ quarts water and 5 tablespoons Better than Bouillion paste
- 1 tablespoon Cajun Creole, or Gumbo Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon coarse cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 3 large cloves garlic pressed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cups 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large yellow onions diced
- 3 red bell peppers diced
- 2 green bell peppers diced
- 4 stalks celery
- ¼ cup uncooked rice optional
- Place the broth in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add all the spices (Creole seasoning, black pepper, crushed red pepper, chili powder, thyme, chopped garlic, and bay leaf), and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep it hot until you are ready to use it.
- While the broth is heating up, make the roux. Melt the butter in an 8 qt. stockpot on medium heat. Whisk in the flour a little at a time making sure to keep the mixture smooth. Continue stirring and heating until the mixture is foamy at the edges and then reduce heat to the lowest possible setting. Continue cooking the roux, stirring every couple of minutes until dark mahogany, about 1 hour.
- Add the broth mix to the roux in small amounts, stirring constantly to keep it smooth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Caramelize onions in a large stockpot. Once browned, add the peppers & celery and continue cooking until soft. Add the cooked veggies to the roux / broth mix.
- Add uncooked rice to the pot (optional). Bring the gumbo to a boil, lower heat, and simmer. Cook, skimming fat as necessary, an additional 45 minutes.
- Taste for salt and pepper. The vegetarian gumbo is ready at this point. You may add the Andouille sausage, chicken, and/or shrimp at this point, or leave them on the side for each person to add in if they wish.
1 package (12 oz.) Andouille sausage, sliced thin (1/4 inch)
1 package veggie links, Tofurkey Kielbasa is my favorite
1.5-2 pounds of chicken bone-in thighs, cooked and shredded
2-2.5 lbs boneless skinless breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
2 pounds of jumbo shrimp