There are as many ways to make gumbo as there are cooks to eat it! This recipe is an easy version, perfect when you have a Gumbo craving that needs to be satisfied in a hurry. The simplicity of this recipe also makes it a good one for the beginner. Serve with cooked rice or by itself.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 pound lump crabmeat, cartilage and shell fragments removed
1/2 cup small oysters, shucked with liquor (about 24 oysters)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 thinly sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon filé powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
Combine the oil and the flour in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Stir the mixture slowly – and constantly. The mixture will begin to foam after about 5 minutes. Keep stirring. As the roux cooks, the color will darken and the flour will have a nice nutty aroma. It should take about 30 – 35 minutes to fully develop a nice medium brown roux.
Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper (the Trinity) and cook about 20 minutes, or until just tender. Add chicken broth, a cup at a time, mixing to dissolve the roux between additions. Once all of the stock has been incorporated into the roux, bring to a boil, then set heat to low. Add the bay leaf and the chicken, cooking until the chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp and simmer, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Stir in the crabmeat and the oysters and their liquor; simmer, stirring occasionally. After 2 – 3 minutes, the edges of the oysters will begin to curl. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Stir in the sea salt, pepper, cayenne, filé powder, and ˝ of the parsley and the green onions, reserving the remainder for garnish.
Serve gumbo in heated soup plates, ladled over cooked white rice. Garnish with reserved parsley and green onions. Don't forget to pass the hot pepper sacue or the Swamp Scum sauce!
I always cook my roux and trinity in a large, cast iron skillet. I incorporate part of the liquid into the roux, and then transfer the mixture to a large stock pot. I then continue incorporating the liquid into the roux as instructed in the recipe.