Friday, December 19, 2014

Chef Heru's Creole Gumbo

Many of my friends and family members have asked me over the years to post my "Nawlins" style Creole Gumbo recipe. It is actually my Mom's (Margaret S. Williams) recipe. She graciously passed it down to me. I've been inspired to post it because a lot of people have ask me too. Anyway... you guys wanted here it goes....


2 yellow onions finely chopped
1 large and firm bell pepper (or 2 small to medium size) finely chopped
8 stalks of celery hearts (No root or ends) thinly sliced
3 large bay leaves
2 32 ounce size boxes of unsalted chicken broth (No canned chicken broth)

1 15 oz can of seafood stock (Bar Harbor Brand preferred)
2 pkgs. of Andouille Sausage (substitute: 2 pkgs of polka kielbasa sausage)
2 bags of 40 count raw shrimp (or fresh tiger shrimp in proportion if available)
10-15 fresh chicken thighs or two large bags of frozen chicken drumettes (your choice)
1 lb of frozen or fresh okra sliced
16 oz can of tomato sauce (no salt)
Sea Salt to taste (start at 2 tbsp) - (do not use table salt,,ugh!!!)
Fresh ground black peppercorns to taste (start at 1 tbsp)
Garlic powder to taste (start at 1 tbsp)
1 tsp. of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
3 tbsp of Gumbo File (pronounced fee-lay)
1 cup of pure peanut or olive oil (no crisco, soy or off brand vegetable oils)
1/2 cup of self rising flour.


If using chicken drumettes: Place chicken drumettes in boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove chicken and discard the broth it was cooked in. IMPORTANT: Do not overcook the chicken drumettes. They should be cooked until slightly underdone.  

If using chicken thighs: Boil chicken thighs until done, Remove from water and let cool. Remove skin from and debone the chicken, then shred and chop the chicken meat into nice edible chunks 

Saute sausage in stainless steel skillet over medium heat, stir, flip and cajole the sausage constantly until done. (Do not burn sausage). In a big ole stainless steel pot (5+ gallon size) add the oil and flour and stir until the flour and oil is well mixed (little to no lumps). Continue to stir constantly over medium high heat. Mixture will thicken and begin to turn brown. Once the mixture begins to brown, reduce heat to medium and continue to stir until mixture is slightly darker than peanut butter and gravy thick. This is called the "roux" (roo) - the most important part of the Gumbo. If the mixture burns, start over!!! Also feel feel to add additional flour or oil if the consistency is not to your satisfaction.

Add the celery, onion and bell pepper to the mixture, stir mixture and slowly add one pkg of the chicken broth. Continue to stir and add the File. Stir until well mixed. Add the remaining chicken broth, bay leaves, seafood stock, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken drumettes or the chopped and shredded chicken thigh meat and sausage. bring to soft boil and let cook for 10 minutes and then add the okra. Cook for another 30 minutes then add the tomato sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for another 30 minutes (add additional seasonings to taste during this last cooking period). Turn off heat, add the shrimp and stir. Once shrimp turns orange your gumbo is done. Serve over rice and enjoy. Feeds 10-15 regular people or 5-7 of my family

Optional: If you prefer crab legs in your gumbo, add the crab legs 10 minutes before you add the shrimp (20 minutes if frozen).