Being home with the family the last two days due to this unusually cold weather had me really wanting some gumbo. We packed up the girls this morning in the icicle covered car and headed over to Rouse’s to get everything we needed. We seriously contemplated getting duck and rabbit but they didn’t have any fresh okra, so we bought two different types of sausage and a whole chicken.
Everyone has their own gumbo recipe, and I think there have been bloody wars fought over filé or okra, tomatoes or no tomatoes, seafood or chicken, and many other preparation variations. I personally like okra, filé, AND tomatoes in my chicken gumbo with fresh bay leaves and thyme. You gotta have the holy trinity, and plenty of garlic.
I typically cook my roux in a cast iron skillet then toss it in a larger pot to cook my veggies, but I made the roux directly in the pot this time. I used my large magnalite pot and burned the mess out of my arm in three spots during the twenty minutes of constant stirring. I was sipping on a Tin Roof Parade Ground Coffee Porter which helped sooth the pain, and I moved on to cooking the meat. After all of the veggies, seasonings, and herbs were added to the mix the house smelled incredible. We played with the girls and got some work done as the pot simmered away, and Jamie and I would take turns sneaking away to “stir” (taste) the gumbo because we couldn’t wait to eat it. After hours of waiting it was ready, and super delicious! I don’t think there’s anything better on a cold night than a big ol’ pot of gumbo and some Uncle Ben’s!