Gumbo and Jambalaya Recipes
The recipes for gumbo & jambalaya are very similar. The main difference is that gumbo has okra and you cook the rice separately from the gravy. I normally make chicken/sausage jambalaya, but my favorite is squirrel/duck and/or seafood. See the notes for how to adapt the recipe for different meats.
Ingredients: (Note that all measurements are approximate.)
- Cooking Oil
- White Flour
- Bell Pepper
- Salt, pepper (esp. cayanne), bay leaf, thyme, etc. to taste
- Cajun Sausage (Polish Sausage may be substituted, but isn't quite as good; Andoulle is best, but hard to find outside of South Louisiana.)
- One duck and one squirrel (or two ducks, or two squirrels)
(Note: Chicken, rabbit, quail, grouse, etc. may be substituted, but isn't quite as good.)
(Note: Seafood (shrimp, oysters, scallops, crab, chunks of white-meated fish, etc) may also be substituted, and it's even better!...but see note at end.)
1. - Heat approximately 1/2 inch of cooking oil in a cast iron dutch oven, or other heavy pot.
2. - Cut meat into bite-size pieces (bones are optional)
- Dredge in white flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- Drop into hot oil and quickly brown...the meat doesn't have to cook throughout...just brown the outside.
- Drain well on paper towels and set aside.
3. - Drain all but about 4-6 tablespoons of oil.
- Add equivalent amount of white flour (4-6 tablespoons)
- Make a roux by cooking oil/flour mixture under medium-high heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until it becomes a dark brown...this takes a good long while; the darker the better!
- If you burn the roux, discard, wash the pot well, and try again until you get it right (stir constantly next time)
- Be careful...a cooking roux is also known as Cajun Napalm.
4. - Chop vegetables (except okra) in advance
- When your roux reaches the proper color (the darker, the better) add the vegetables and cook over a medium low heat until transparent.
5. - While vegetables are cooking, thinly slice the sausage and brown in a separate pan.
6. - Slice the okra into medium size pieces.
- Add to the cooking vegetable mix when they're about halfway done.
7. - When vegetables are cooked, add the browned meat and sausage.
- Stir in HOT broth, adding a little at a time and stirring to dissolve the roux.
- The gravy should be fairly soupy. The okra will thicken it some while it cooks. The 'gumbo file' you add at the table will thicken it some more.
- Some people like to add a small can of stewed tomatoes at this time (optional)
8. - Simmer slowly for 2-8 hours until meat is tender, but has not fallen apart.
9. - Separately, cook a batch of long grain, white rice.
10. - To serve, place a scoop or two of rice in a soup bowl,then fill the bowl with gumbo.
- At the table, sprinkle in a little 'gumbo file,' stir, and eat (Cajuns Choice markets small jars of 'gumbo file' locally at the seafood counter of many area grocery stores.)
- Many people like to add a little Tabasco sauce or other sppropriate Louisiana hot sauce.
- Enjoy a truely traditional Cajun meal.
NOTE: If you're making a seafood gumbo (or jambalaya), omit Steps 1 & 2. Do not brown the seafood first. Make the gumbo as described above, add the seafood 10 minutes before you are ready to eat. When the seafood is done, it's time to eat.
NOTE: I make JAMBALAYA in a very similar manner to gumbo. Omit the okra. Cook the gravy until the meat is tender, but not falling off the bone. Add 1 cup of rice for each 2 cups of broth, then place the cast iron pot in the oven at 350 for one hour to cook the rice. Presto...jambalaya!