It was a lazy Saturday a few summers ago when we woke up way into the late morning, turned on PBS and stumbled on this recipe featured on America’s Test Kitchen. Chef Christopher Kimball was going on and on about roux and how it is an essential-but hard-to-execute element of a true Louisiana gumbo—one he likened to “liquid napalm”—when he revealed he’d discovered the easiest, fool-proof, non-scorch-your-hands-while-cooking recipe for roux ever made by man. Now, I ain’t afraid of no roux, but I have to admit: Chef Kimball’s oven roux was easy as all get out and by the time he mixed in the andouille, okra and shrimp and ladled a heaping helping of that gumbo on that rice, Mari and I were dressed and headed to the grocery store to get everything we needed to make our own pot.
Please believe: that gumbo was divine.
Now, I won’t claim that my gumbo is better than that cooked up by somebody’s New Orleans grandma, but I’ll tell you this: my gumbo recipe slays. The melange of meat, seafood and vegetables make for a rich and hearty stew packed with flavor. The bonus? It’s easy as all get out to cook. Seriously, if you can stir stuff into a pot, you got this. Promise.
I have no problems whipping this one up on a weekday when it’s cold outside and we’re feeling like we need a dinner that’ll stick to the bones. But this gumbo also makes for a really lovely and impressive meal for company, one that I pull out when I want to keep things simple but incredibly delicious. Put it in a pretty bowl over some rice and serve it up with a hunk of cornbread. Ridiculously good eating!
Chicken, Shrimp & Andouille Gumbo Recipe with the Easiest Roux Ever
[adapted from America’s Test Kitchen]
What You’ll Need:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced thyme
three shakes of cayenne pepper
1 (14 oz.) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
28 oz. chicken broth
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 14 oz package andouille sausage, sliced thin
1 1/2 pounds of raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and seasoned with salt and pepper
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen, cut okra
4 shakes gumbo file
How to cook it:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toast flour in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until flour just begins to brown; add oil and whisk until smooth.
2. Cover the Dutch oven and put it in the oven for 45 minutes; wisk occasionally. When you take it out, it will be the color of a penny, which means it’s the most perfect roux ever.
3. While the roux is cooking, brown the chicken in a pan on the stove, chop the onions, peppers and garlic, peel the shrimp and slice the sausage; when chicken is browned, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
4. When the roux is finished cooking, take it out of the oven and put it on the stove on medium-high heat; add the onion, peppers and garlic and sauté until soft and wilted, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the thyme, canned tomatoes and cayenne pepper to the Dutch oven and cook for another minute; add the chicken broth and wisk until smooth.
6. Add the chicken, bring the Dutch oven to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Gently stir in the okra and sausage and cook for five minutes; stir in shrimp and cook until pink and curled, about five minutes more, then add in gumbo file.
8. Ladle atop a scoop of rice and serve piping hot.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.