Gumbo Nights

I was rummaging about in the big freezer and turned up a stick of Andouille sausage.  That put me of a mind to make a pot of gumbo.  I noticed that Alton Brown was touting a method of making a brown roux in the oven that seemed to be foolproof, and didn’t require one to stand over the stove stirring for a half hour and more:

Place the vegetable oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart cast iron Dutch oven and whisk together to combine. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, whisking 2 to 3 times throughout the cooking process.

Seemed to work pretty well:

This was after 90 minutes.  It could have spent a little longer and been a bit more brown but I went with it as you see it.  More or less following Alton’s recipe, I put it over a medium flame on the cooktop and stirred in diced celery, green peppers, and onion.  The roux turned right away into thick mud but I kept stirring it until the veggies softened a bit, about ten minutes.  Next was several cups (4-5?) of the stock the chicken I used was cooked in, fortified with some Creole seasoning, along with the canned tomato bits I used in lieu of fresh.  I did have fresh thyme and even grow my own bay leaves now.  That simmered for a half hour before I added the cooked chicken, thawed pre-cooked shrimp, and the sliced and browned Andouille sausage.

Serve over rice, and be sure to have a bottle of hot sauce on the table lest you be taunted.

7 thoughts on “Gumbo Nights

  1. By all means! Make some! It is fairly easy and the recipes out there allow for many variations. The brown roux had been the sticking point for many but the oven baking method solves that particular snag. Lots of literature out there on roux varieties, with room to explore the thickening agents favored by the cognoscenti.


  2. Thanks, Karen– The weather here may have finally turned, some rain and mostly cloudy, a cool front has come through dropping night time temps into the forties. I just love stews and soups and such. Mmm…Chili! Posole!


  3. Two things. Okra is a must in my gumbo (added at the end, just to warm through), and saltine crackers on the side. You know your roux is right when you throw in the veggies and it instantly turns into that dark mud. I can’t wait until gumbo season down here. I’ve been harvesting and freezing okra all summer just for it.
    And I like that you mention posole. One of my favorite soup/stews.


  4. Rupert — Good morning, sir.

    I’ve never used okra, and seldom use file powder though I do have some. Way old stuff, no memory of where it came from. I have no memory of ever eating okra although if I did it was probably deep fried. Vague memory of my Mom tsk-tsking at the mere mention of okra. I have some glimmer of an association of okra with “slimy” and general “ick” although nothing gained from actually, you know, eating any of it.


  5. That roux looks perfect. I love the idea of baking it. I have some more recent file powder and I use it sparingly. It has a pungent flavor that goes well in gumbo or washday beans and rice. I’ve had okra twice and am not a big fan. But that goes for most green things.


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