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Gumbo For The Soul 

Pull up a chair we are going to be here a while

JTM Gumbo Recipe – Feeds Family of 4-6

This is a recipe that I am becoming more and more comfortable with. The key to it is low and slow – take the time in the beginning particularly with the roux. Once you get comfortable with it, and don’t tell people how easy it is. And soon enough the smells coming from your house and Instagram will have your neighbors lined up outside your door! I suggest making the roux in a dutch oven style pot if you have it or whatever pot you are most comfortable with. Temperature control is crucial for the roux, if the pot allows you to heat quickly and evenly while also cooling and holding temps well, that is ideal.

Ingredients:

For Roux:
- 1 heaping cup – all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup – Fat/Oil – something with a high smoke temp and good flavor – grapeseed or avocado and bacon fat are my go-to combo. Refrain from using butter, it burns too easily. Canola works just fine too.


For Gumbo:
2 packs or 8ish links of Andouille sausage
2lbs shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 -3lbs Dungeness crab
1 rotisserie chicken - pulled
1 small can whole clams (optional)
4-6 stalks celery heart – diced
anywhere from 3 to an offensive amount of garlic based on your preference
1 whole large onion (whatever color you prefer) - diced
2 medium green bell pepper - diced
1 carrot - diced
1 bunch parsley – finely chopped
1 bunch scallion - diced
white rice – enough to feed the family and have some for leftovers
2-3 tbsp. JTM Gumbo Seasoning
2 tbsp. - Gumbo File
3-4qts chicken stock
1 Negra Modelo or similar beer

instapot chicken broth:
- all the bones and little fatty bits from rotisserie chicken
- 3 stalks celery – rough chop
- 1 carrot – rough chop
- all the good trimmings from your other veggies
- 3 bay leaves
- 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 inch ginger - crushed
- 1 stalk lemongrass – tops trimmed and use the back of knife to pound
- 2-3 dried mushrooms (optional)
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoons better than bouillon (chicken) paste
- 3-4 quarts of water


Instapot broth prep:

While the chicken is warm. Pull all the meat off the bones of the chicken, pulling it apart and placing to the side for gumbo use. With the bones and good trim place in the bottom of the instapot with a bit of oil and put-on sauté mode. While bones and trim are browning, pile on veggies and remaining ingredients on top. Refrain from stirring, you want the bones to get a little sticky down there on the bottom. This usually takes about 10 minutes. Once satisfied with color and stick add water to instapot, cover press the broth/soup setting on the higher mode for about 40-45 minutes. Let that do its thing, strain off from solid once finished and set aside for later gumbo use.


Roux Preparation:

In a large, heavy bottom stock pot combine flour and oil. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 30-45 minutes. This part takes patience--when it's finished it should be as dark as chocolate or peanut butter and have a soft, "cookie dough" like consistency. Be careful not to let it burn! Feel free to add a little more flour or oil as needed to reach this consistency. If your gumbo pot happens to be the same pot, move roux to another vessel and leave in oven at 185 (warming temp) until ready.


Gumbo Time:

Brown the sausage. In gumbo pot on medium-high heat place the sausage slices in one layer in the pan. Brown them well on one side (2-3 minutes) and then use a fork to flip each over onto the other side to brown. Remove to a plate.

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Using a spatula or large spoon help scrape any bits still stuck to the bottom of pot.

Add additional 2.5 quarts of chicken broth and beer. Add veggies, parsley, and roux to the pot and stir well.

Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. (Skim off any foam that may rise to the top of the pot.) Stir in Cajun seasoning, to taste. If you find your mixture is thickening up too quickly add a bit more broth otherwise reserve in fridge for later use.

Add meat. Add chicken, sausage, and shrimp.

Let cook on a rolling simmer for as long as you can stand – 1.5 hours at least if you can.

About 15-20 minutes bring to low boil once more add gumbo file and crab, stir. And let simmer with lid on for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Taste and serve. At this point taste it and add more seasonings to your liking--salt, pepper, gumbo seasoning. Serve over rice and top with green onions.

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