Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shrimp, Chicken, and Andouille Gumbo

The first time I made this recipe I nearly burned David's apartment down! Well, it only appeared that way from the thick cloud of black smoke billowing out of the kitchen. It really wasn't nearly as terrible as it looked, or smelled. No flames, just smoke. I swear! In any case this eventually ended up being one of our favorite meals. I have made it several times since with no incident. Let me tell you if this is your first time making a roux, take it easy. Despite what they say, you can start the heat a little lower, it will just take longer and that is much better than billowing black smoke! The first time I made this recipe it was also my first time making a roux and I had no idea what I was doing. So I made the mistake of following the directions and once the oil started smoking just slightly I dumped in the flour and poof, instant black smoke! That poor pot was never the same after that incident and we fondly referred to it as the blackening pan after that. 
Now, when I make this recipe I start the heat just barely above medium. I also have never made more than half the recipe. I use the recipe more for the basic ingredients than the actual instructions. This is however a simple recipe to feed a crowd, the original says it serves 24. Even when I half the recipe we still have enough for three meals for the two of us. It is great (if not better) the next day, so I don't mind. The first time I made this I couldn't find any white rice at the grocery store and ended up buying a package of saffron rice and just dumping it in the pot. It turned out really well and I still make it that way. 

Shrimp, Chicken, and Andouille Gumbo
from Bon Appetit
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
6 large onions, chopped (about 12 cups)
6 red bell peppers, seeded, chopped (about 7 cups)
8 celery stalks, chopped (about 3 cups)
16 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
4 8-ounce bottles clam juice
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 pounds andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 16-ounce packages sliced frozen okra

4 pounds peeled deveined medium shrimp
Minced fresh Italian parsley
Steamed rice

Heat oil in heavy 13-quart pot over medium-high heat until very hot and almost smoking. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is dark reddish brown, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, and chopped celery and cook until onions are soft and brown, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne and stir 2 minutes. Add wine, thyme, and bay leaves; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes with juice, clam juice, broth, sausage, and chicken; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add okra and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Do ahead Gumbo base can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Bring base to simmer before continuing.
Add shrimp to pot and cook shrimp until just opaque in center, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season gumbo to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with minced parsley and serve with steamed rice alongside.

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