I have been wanting to make Gumbo since Easter when we watched The Princess and the Frog for the first time. It takes place in New Orleans and they talk about Gumbo a lot. Sounded good to me! I had only had it once before when I was in college - I had a roommate from Kentucky that made it for us. I remember liking it then...so decided to hunt down a recipe and try it out myself. I found the recipe in the Southern Living cookbook (where else??) So here goes:
Ham, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1 1/2 lbs ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
6 chicken thighs
1/4 cup plus 2 T. vegetable oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 package frozen okra (sliced)
2 quarts water
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. dried whole thyme
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
Hot cooked rice
Brown each meat, one at a time, in oil in a large Dutch oven, removing to drain on paper towels.
Add flour to oil remaining in Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until roux is caramel-colored (10-15 minutes)
Add onion, garlic, green pepper and okra to roux; cook until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Gradually add water. Add ham, sausage, chicken, red pepper, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool and skim fat from top. Remove bones from chicken; coarsely chop chicken and return to pot.
Bring gumbo to a boil; add green onion tops. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice. Yield: 12 cups.
**Okay, so I did personalize this just a bit. First and foremost - I halfed the recipe!!
** The original recipe didn't call for okra...I don't know about you but I LOVE okra and in my mind, gumbo is supposed to have okra! So, you decide.
**I used boneless skinless chicken thighs...so that part about cooling the gumbo and removing the bones from the chicken, etc....I just skipped.
**I used 1/4 t. red pepper and Eric didn't think it was spicy enough...it had a kick to it but probably could have used more. So, if you like spicy...add a bit more.
**I started cooking around 3:00 in the afternoon...make sure you plan ahead if you wanna make this one!!
We really like this! Even Haylie ate her required number of bites without too much complaint. Although when I put her bowl in front of her she said "That looks gross." Okay - so it kind of did look gross. It turned a dark brown color as it cooked...not sure why. But the color did not affect the taste! YUM!