Fall is here… or so the calendar says. Is anyone getting any cool weather? I mean, it’s “cooler” here, as in, it’s lower three digits (e.g., 102 as opposed to 112). But autumn has always been somewhat of a giggle season with a spotty few cool days between warm ones. We’ll take it. Of course, it’s not like we have a choice when it comes to Mother Nature unless we move. But for the sake of the season, I’m just going to pretend that all is pumpkin spice and everything thing nice and that’s what autumn in the South is made of.
With fall comes warm, comfort foods—savory soups and hearty stews. And then there’s gumbo. Gumbo isn’t a seasonal food on the bayou, and there are about a million ways to make it—from simple to complex; with rice cooked in or prepared separately. None of these variations are wrong. Well… Okay, I take that back. Having seen boiled eggs and Pop-Tarts in gumbo, those ingredients are just plain wrong, no two ways about it. Yes, I say that with my full chest, will fall on a sword, and die on a hill with a gigantic heck-no foaming from my mouth. I don’t know who would have thought to create such an abomination, but obviously, it was by someone who has been hurt deeply. (Psst, there’s no shame in seeking therapy.)
However, there is one other way considered wrong in preparing gumbo. Now, I know when I say it, many people are going to get into their feelings but hear me out. A coworker nearly argued me to the ground, but I happened to have a couple of facts and history on my side. This is the inclusion of okra. My coworker dislikes it and doesn’t include it in her gumbo. To which, I said, “Then, it isn’t gumbo.” Shots fired. She insisted that it was, and I simply replied, “Nope.” Here’s why.
Okra isn’t an optional ingredient. The word “gumbo” literally means “okra” in West African. It’s where the recipe derived its name and originates from the African word “ki ngombo.” (See, studying for the SATs pays off.) Actually, my knowing that fact isn’t all that impressive. Most people who grew up around the bayou know this. It was something I had been taught since before I could remember. My coworker was born and raised in a neighboring southern state, and her ideas of what was considered authentic Creole and Cajun food was how Tex-Mex is to authentic Mexican food. So, when I hit her with this fact, her response (which was typical of her when she realized she had no comeback) was, “Well, I don’t know about that.” She still prepares her okra-less SOUP!
I say all that because it’s been a while since I shared a recipe. When scrolling through my blog archives, I realized although I’ve discussed gumbo numerous times, it doesn’t appear that I’ve ever shared a recipe. I give fair warning that the recipe that I used and learned from my grandmother has a lot of ingredients. (Everything is from scratch except the chicken.) However, it’s fairly simple to make.
Chicken and Sauage Gumbo
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (Hint: Sift the flower before measuring. While adding flour to the measuring, shake the cup to distribute the flower evenly. Rake a knife over the top to press it down smoothly. This will improve the accuracy of measurement.)
- Sausage grease (Bacon dripping or vegetable oil can be substituted, but why do that when you already have the sausage?)
- Over medium-low heat, whisk together flour and 3/4 cup sausage grease in a large pot a(a Dutch oven works well) until smooth. Be sure to whisk constantly and monitor the heat to avoid burning.
- Cook until the roux turns a rich brown in color (approximately 20 – 30 minutes).
- Remove from heat.
- 1/8 tsp basil
- 1/8 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp rosemary
- 1/8 tsp smoke paprika
- 1/8 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 large white onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded Rotisserie chicken
- 2 ½ cups okra
- 2 lbs Andouille sausage (sliced)
- Chop onions, celery, and bell pepper to desired consistency. (I prefer a fine dice but other people prefer more coarsely chopped.)
- Add the Holy Trinity mixture to the roux and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken both to the roux and stir to blend well.
- Add all of the other ingredients and cook on low 45 to 60 minutes. (Note: Some people prefer to add the rice and others prefer to cook the rice separately. If planning to add rice, be aware that more broth and a larger pot may be necessary.
That’s all I’ve got. Now, it’s your turn to sound off. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.
Get ready. It’s time to hit the ice again. Future Goals has arrived and is available.
When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.
Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.
Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.
For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or X (formerly tweet) me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search for me on Goodreads, Amazon Authors, BookBub, Bluesky, Threads, or TikTok.
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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.
About the Author
Genevive Chamblee resides in the Bayou country where sweet tea and SEC football reign supreme. She is known for being witty (or so she thinks), getting lost anywhere beyond her front yard (the back is pushing it as she’s very geographically challenged), falling in love with shelter animals (and she adopts them), asking off-the-beaten-path questions that make one go “hmm,” and preparing home-cooked Creole meals that are as spicy as her writing. Genevive specializes in spinning steamy, romantic tales with humorous flair, diverse characters, and quirky views of love and human behavior. She also is not afraid to delve into darker romances as well.