There are so many ways to cook gumbo so please make any adjustments you find necessary so that it’s to you and your family’s liking adding or omitting ingredients you may or may not want. The main thing is to make your roux properly and season well.
Edited to include turkey necks:
If you are going to make it with the turkey necks, wash then season them with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. What I do is wrap them tightly in heavy foil then place them in a preheated 400° oven for about an hour.
(I personally don’t like to boil meat as I believe flavor is lost by doing so) Go ahead and boil them if that’s your preference.
You can also use the turkey necks AND chicken if you like.
For some people, the very first thing they do is make the roux, I like to prep several other things before doing so but do what works for you….JUST BE SURE TO MAKE THE ROUX AND TAKE YOUR TIME DOING SO!
- 20-30 pieces Chicken drums and flats (seasoned with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic and onion powder) and refrigerate
- 2 lbs smoked sausage (I use Richards which is very good, I suggest you use a good quality brand)
- 3 lbs extra large, jumbo or colossal shrimp peel and devine then place in the fridge
- 1 dozen crabs (I am a true Louisiana country girl and we use boiled crabs (as in those nice spicy hot boiled crabs you get at the local seafood market) Remove the crabs from the shell and clean away the spongy membranes and the guts well but DO NOT WASH THE CRABS. Place in the fridge to keep cold
- 2 lbs chicken gizzards optional as I realize everyone doesn’t like them ( boil in a seperate pot for about an hour to get them tender) I don’t know if you can see it but this gumbo has chicken gizzards you can add them to yours or not.
With the meat it’s pretty much what YOU like so adjust what meats you choose accordingly and add them to the pot depending on which meats require a longer period of cooking.
When I use gizzards I add them to the gumbo pot right after the roux is made and stock added. I also add the turkey necks to the pot at this time.
- 2 small bags of frozen. okra…….I do not recommend using fresh okra in gumbo but it’s fine if that’s your choice Go ahead and spread your okra on a sheet pan that’s lightly oiled, season with 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and place in the oven on 375 for 45 minutes removing the pan once halfway through to toss them lightly as to not break up the okra too much
- Seafood stock or you can just use water. I buy and cook shrimp all of the time so I usually keep stock in my freezer.
You will need about 6 quarts but again use your judgement as gumbo broth is NOT suppose to be watery
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Garlic powder
- Gumbo file……..If you can’t get Louisiana brand Zatarains is also good
- A good brand of allspice seasoning…….Tony”s is good
- Very large onion chopped
- 2 bell peppers chopped
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- Cooking oil
- Add about a 1/3 cup of vegetable oil to your gumbo pot and allow it to heat then start adding your flour. I didn’t give a specific measurement on the flour as I have found that when making roux you need to rely on your judgement so keep a close watch on the pot while constantly stirring and slowly adding in enough flour until it turns like a loose paste with no oil left.
Continue to stir until it turns a nice dark brown chocolate color (this will take about 30 minutes) then add your stock drop in a couple of Bay leaves and about 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning and place on med heat
- Gather your chicken and sausage from the fridge……
- Heat a large pan with very light coating of EVOO for the chicken and sausage. You can cook both in the same pan.
I like to sautee the sausage first so that flavorful grease is left behind to cook the chicken. Sautee your sausage along with the onions, bell pepper, celery on medium heat about 20 minutes or until they are a nice brown color…..that’s flavor! Remove sausage from the pan and add to your gumbo pot.
Cook your chicken until done, you should allow it to get nicely browned also then drain any excess grease first and add it to the gumbo pot.
- Remove your crabs from the fridge and add to the pot also being sure to give the pot a stir in between adding the ingredients. Turn your heat to med
- At this point I like to lightly sautee my shrimp in the same pan the sausage and chicken was in and add those to your pot, pour off any grease then I place those two tablespoons of tomato paste in the pan and stir for about 5 minutes then put about two ladels of the gumbo broth in with the tomato paste and stir a couple of minutes scraping all those tasty drippings from the pan and add it back into the pot
- Lastly add your okra and a tablespoon of gumbo file.
Everything is seasoned as it’s cooked but you may want to give it a taste and adjust any spices as needed.
Let it continue to simmer for about another 45 minutes or so then serve over a bed of freshly cooked hot white rice and garnish with parsley…fresh or dried it’s your choice.