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Gumbo

A recipe!  For real!

Except that I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup actually plated (bowled?) in a bowl, even though I ate this for dinner on three separate occasions.

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So you get to see it in the pot.

Styling tip #1 for soup: put it in a bowl. ¬†A cool bowl, with a cool spoon. ¬†Because soup just isn’t really that pretty.

Spicy Gumbo¬†(recipe adapted from Allison Fishman’s You Can Trust a Skinny Cook)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 T Cajun seasoning (chili powder, paprika, garlic, oregano, cayenne)
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 C chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb andouille sausage
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14-oz), drained
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, dice, dredge in the Cajun spice mix, and sauté over medium heat until browned and cooked through.  Set aside.

I was slightly scared to make a roux (and appropriately so, as you’ll read later), but this recipe makes it pretty simple. ¬†Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the flour.

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Constantly stir the flour until it turns a milk chocolate brown (this should take about 12 minutes, according to Ms. Fishman, though I was being very cautious with the heat and it took me more like 15-16).

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Add the diced onion and continue to stir until it turns dark chocolate brown. ¬†This took only a minute or two more for me, and was bubbling furiously the whole time. ¬†Be careful not to let it cook past the dark chocolate phase, because you don’t want it to burn. ¬†If you do¬†burn it, throw it out and start over. ¬†It can’t be fixed.

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Add the pepper and celery and stir until all the veggies are softened, another five or six minutes.

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Slowly whisk in the broth–do this over the course of three to five minutes, giving the broth time to thicken as it heats up. ¬†I did it much faster than this, and the roux and broth separated and I spend the next five minutes googling “separated roux” and “did I ruin my life” until it all came together again.

I didn’t take a picture of the separated roux because I really thought I ruined it, and didn’t plan on blogging it. ¬†Basically it looked disgusting, but if this happens to you–it’s okay! ¬†Keep stirring!

Add the chicken, sausage, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, parsley, and Worcestershire and simmer for 20 minutes. ¬†I did not brown the sausage first (the recipe didn’t call for it) but might next time, just to drain out a little fat and so I can eat half of it before I add it into the soup.

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Just kidding.  Well, I never mean to do it, but I do.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

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This soup was spicy, mostly because the sausage I bought was hot! hot! hot! fresh from the regional-market-burly-sausage-making-men. ¬†I think Fritz actually broke an upper-lip sweat eating this, but he’s not a big fan of hot (hot-spicy, not hot-temperature, obviously) food.

For us spicy food lovers, you can always add some extra cayenne or hot sauce to jazz it up a little, if you want.

Styling tip #2 for soup: drain out some of the broth so you have more “stuff” in the bowl and less liquid. ¬†No example of this here, obviously.

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Styling tip #3: natural fibers (woven mats, wooden cutting boards) always give a great texture that make boring pictures look interesting without clashing with all the colors of soup.

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However, I can’t put anything down in this house without a cat jumping on it.

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It’s obnoxious how cute he is, though.

Also, my sister, brother-in-law, and niece are back in California.  As a way to work through my emotions, I present you more pictures of the happy family.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2013/08/05/gumbo/

3 comments

  1. Florence

    As usual , it’s a real pleasure to read you . Beautiful pictures and really good recipe ,the good mix for your website and for ours pleasure. Big kiss to Henry and Emerson. Have a nice day.

  2. Jamie Tschirhart

    Now I know what I am making for dinner :)

  3. Chad

    So looking forward to making this! Thank you for the write-up!