Gumbo Ya Ya


Making a roux is tricky business. Some pointers to keep in mind: cook your roux over moderately low heat because too high heat will cause the roux to speckle and if that happens you’ll have to throw it away and start over; add the flour gradually to the butter or oil; you must stir the roux constantly with a wooden spoon, your arm will get a workout; and never, but never leave your roux unattended.

This recipe makes a lot of gumbo, 6 quarts, so you’ll have enough for a big party or you can freeze some for later.

  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 red bell peppers, in medium dice
  • 2 green bell peppers, in medium dice
  • 2 medium onions, in medium dice
  • 2 celery stalks, in medium dice
  • 1 1/4 gallon (20 cups) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 3 1/2 lb. chicken, roasted and boned
  • hot sauce to taste
  • boiled rice as accompaniment

In a 12-quart stockpot melt butter over moderately low heat. Gradually add a third of the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add a third more flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add remaining third of flour and stir constantly 30 seconds. Continue to cook roux, stirring constantly, until it is the color of dark mahogany, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Add bell peppers and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add onions and celery and stir constantly 30 seconds. Add the stock to roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add all remaining ingredients except chicken, rice, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer gumbo, uncovered, 45 minutes, skimming off any fat and stirring occasionally. Add chicken and simmer 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with hot sauce. Serve over rice.

Yield: about 6 quarts

CREOLE SEASONING

  • 1 1/2 cups paprika
  • 3/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/3 cup dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup dried basil
  • 1/4 cup granulated onion
  • 1/4 cup cayenne

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container

Yield: 4 cups

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