I have been making gumbo for 20+ years, and this is probably my favorite recipe for it. I shamelessly stole it from Chef Isaac Toups, of Toups Meatery, when I found this video on YouTube. I added my own flourishes, and to be totally honest, I doubled the whole damn recipe because the leftovers are SOOOO much better than the first meal.
Trust me on this. I’ve been cooking cajun for decades…the leftovers are so much better!
As stated in the video, prep all the veggies first. Once you add the flour to the oil for the roux, you CANNOT LEAVE the roux, and must stir it continuously for 15-45 minutes, depending on your heat.
NOTE: For folks that balk at the okra because “OMG OKRA SLIME!”: This is a necessary ingredient, as it helps thicken the gumbo. The recipe shows you how to blanche the okra and get rid of the slime.
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 cup grapeseed oil (Olive oil if you don’t have grapeseed)
- 12 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups amber-style beer
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 8 bay leaves
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 lb smoked sausage, cut into bite size pieces
- 8oz frozen chopped okra
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- cooked white rice, for serving
- sliced scallions, for serving
- Warm up the chicken stock in a pot, and transfer to a large pouring vessel. You do NOT EVER pour cold stock into Cajun Napalm (roux).
- Season the chicken with salt, black pepper, and one tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken in a large pan until slightly charred and golden, about 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the beer to deglaze the pan, and scrape all the fond (the dark flavorful bits!) off the bottom. Set aside, off heat.
- Heat a thick bottomed 8+-quart Dutch oven over medium. Add 1 cup of oil and bring it to a smoke.
- Add the flour and, using a whisk or wooden spatula, stir constantly, taking care not to allow any to splash and burn you, until the roux has turned dark brown (the color of a bar of Hershey’s chocolate is about right), about 25 minutes, or more.
- Add the celery, bell pepper, and onion and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and jalapeño and cook for one minute.
- Add the rest of the beer to deglaze, making sure to cook out all the liquid/alcohol.
- Add the stock slowly, while continuously stirring. At this point, it’s like making gravy: keep stirring, you don’t want lumps.
- Add the thyme, bay leaves, and 2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Stir slowly and continuously until the gumbo is back to a simmer, then add the chicken thighs and the sausage.
- Add the okra to the pan you used for the chicken, and cook on medium. Add some more beer to blanche the okra and get rid of the slime. Once the okra is sautéed and dry, add to the gumbo.
- Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Gumbo should thick but not like gravy. Season with cayenne and serve with cooked rice. Top with scallions and enjoy.