Cajun Gumbo

As I sat in my kitchen making this dish for the first time, I immediately began to reminisce. I thought back to my childhood, in the kitchen with my NaNa as she made beef stew. Helping her snap green beans as she diced tomatoes and prepped her beef stock. I can still smell the robust aroma that filled not only our house, but our street as well. I remember answering the door as neighbors popped their head in to see “what smelled so good!” One thing I love about the way my NaNa cooks is that she doesn’t need to measure anything, ever! She adds a pinch of this, a dash of that and her dishes are always amazing. She’s sōlful and lets her sōl guide her hands as she seasons her food.

This dish gives me all the feels of my childhood, while incorporating my love of sōl food. There’s simply something amazing about using your sense of taste, touch and smell to dictate how you want to season your food. So I encourage you to trust yourself and switch this recipe up! Add a pinch more of this or heap of that. I promise, you’ll be surprised at how uniquely amazing your meal turns out.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken skinless thighs
  • 8 oz smoked andouille sausage, cut into chunks *
  • 8 oz shrimp – peeled, deveined, tail-off
  • 8 oz chicken broth
  • 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bullion cubes
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • ½ orange pepper, chopped
  • ½ yellow pepper, chopped
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • ½ cup of corn starch
  • ¼ cup corn oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper **
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil

* Use smoked chicken sausage as a healthy alternative

** Optional ingredient, depends on your spice tolerance

Steps:

Meat Prep

  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Drop chicken thighs into pan and  season with salt and pepper. Brown both sides then set aside and let cool.
  2. In the same pan, brown smoked sausage. Set aside.

Roux

  1. In a heavy skillet on medium high heat, add butter and corn oil. As oil heats, slowly whisk in corn starch. Continuously whisk roux for 30-40 minutes. Do NOT walk away from your roux, if you do your roux will burn. When the color becomes peanut/chocolate brown, remove the roux from heat and set aside.

Gumbo

  1. In a large pot on medium heat, add a 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic.
  2. As oil and garlic heat, add onions and red, green, yellow and orange peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pull apart chicken into desirable chunks and drop into pot. Add sausage and tomatoes.
  4. Add brown sugar, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme, cajun seasoning, chicken bullion cubes, oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Serve with brown rice.

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