If there were one genre of cuisine I had to eat for the rest of my life it would be Creole or Cajun food. Anyone who has Louisiana relatives and gets to actively visit The Big Easy and devour mountains of homemade Creole or Cajun food is the envy of my existence. Atlanta has few Louisiana outposts but I wish there were more. There is nothing I love more than tucking into a big bowl of gumbo or crawfish etouffee for an indulgent meal. Homemade is always best so my father in law and I whipped up this recipe with the help of the internet and a bunch of ad-libbing along the way. I give you, the best gumbo recipe you’ll ever taste outside of Louisiana.
It was my father in laws idea to make gumbo on New Years Day, normally I make a Hoppin John Stew but I preferred his way. He found a recipe online and sourced all the ingredients. Looking at it, I thought it felt a little light on spice- although this recipe does use five bouillon cubes, so those with sensitivities to salt, be warned. So we switched out some water for white wine and added a mountain of dried herbs to the stockpot and let her go.
I will say, for being a complex recipe (lots of stirring and chopping) it was nice that this was a one-pot recipe. All you need is a sturdy dutch oven to cook this meal. I definitely recommend having a sous chef on hand to help chop veg and meat, we were able to blast through the prep much quicker, which meant we could eat this delightful stew sooner.
After a 2.5 hour simmer on the stovetop it was ready to be devoured. I haven’t been to New Orleans for over 15 years but this dish instantly brought me back to that first real, rich flavor of Creole cooking and this was hands down the best gumbo recipe I’ve ever tasted.
- 3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound spicy kielbasa cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large onion chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno seeded and diced
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley stems and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 cup white wine we used chardonnay
- 5 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 14 ounce can stewed tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups frozen okra chopped
- 4 green onions (white and green stems) sliced
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp peeled, deveined
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat and add your spicy kielbasa sausage. Cook until the sausage has developed crisp edges and remove then set aside on a plate. Add the seasoned chicken to the spicy oil and cook until you've developed a crust on the chicken but it's not cooked all the way through. The chicken will finish cooking in the stew. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside but leave the oil.
In the dutch oven with the oil, reduce heat to medium and sprinkle the flour slowly over the oil and add 3 tablespoons of the butter. We're making a roux here so keep whisking it while it cooks, about 10 minutes. The roux should be well incorporated, slightly heavier than cake batter, and acquired a darker color. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the roux cool for about 10 minutes.
Return the dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the roux, whisking while it melts. Add the onion, garlic, celery, jalapeno and green, and red pepper and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables and onions have softened.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, dried thyme and dried oregano, whisking constantly. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Add 3 cups of hot water and the bouillon cubes to the pot, whisking while the cubes dissolve. Once dissolved, add the cup of white wine.
Bring the liquid mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, add the chicken and sausage to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes have passed, add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
Finally, add your uncooked shrimp and green onions to the pot and cook until the shrimp have cooked through, about 10-15 minutes depending on how much room you have in your dutch oven.
Serve over rice and with tons of Louisiana hot sauce.